July 2004 Archives

Corporate English- London Underground

By Tdol on Jul 17, 2004 | | 10 Comments

Because it breaks down with such regularity, London Underground has equipped its staff with a number of excuses. Recently I was on a train that stopped short of its destination and we were told that 'because of the late running of this train, it will now terminate here'. While I can see that, from a timetable perspective, a late train might be blocking things, from a passenger's perspective, it is doubly infuriating to have to wait for a train and then be told that you can't get to your destination. Transport in London is of such a low standard that it really does have to be experienced to be believed. However, yesterday, they told me that the train I was on would have to wait a few minutes because there was a delay behind us. Despite trying, I could not work out any sense behind this explanation.

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Protagonist

By Tdol on Jul 4, 2004 | | 0 Comments

I recently read a criticism of the use of protagonist in the plural because it is derived from the Greek for first actor. It is commonly used in contemporary English in the plural for the main people involved in something, whether actors or not. The person making the criticism asked if there could ever be more than one first actor, which makes me wonder who would be the first actor in a Laurel and Hardy film.

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