This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Nuts and Bolts: a divergence of line.

It's cold, it's dark, and you're in a deserted railway carriage on a journey to somewhere new. The stations are frequent, but if they're lit at all the lights aren't anywhere near the sign that tells you where you are. 

To make matters worse, there's a repeated announcement: 

The train will split at Blogsworth. Passengers for all stations to Dickston must travel in the front four carriages.

and you've never even heard of either Blogsworth or Dickston. Is your destination on the Dickston branch of the line? You have no idea.

What can you do?

Well, not a lot, quite honestly.

The same sort of thing sometimes happens on the London Underground. At the next station the doors in the first carriage will not open says the announcement...and then, as half the time you haven't a clue which carriage you're in, all you can do is prepare to fight your way back through the crowded train if necessary.

But there are minds of genius in the world, and the other day I found that someone has solved this problem. What you need, it turns out, is a system that uses something other than words.

Passengers for Blogsworth must travel on the blue seats, 

it said.

See? Genius. I can't tell you what a relief it was, too.

Word To Use Today: travel. This word, charmingly, comes from the Old French travaillier to travail, from the Late Latin trepālium, instrument of torture.

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