or does anyone else find it astonishing that London Underground still says trains are being delayed by "a person under a train"

(87 Posts)
quesadilla Wed 17-Jul-13 11:33:49

OK so I know its a factually accurate way to describe the situation... but in this world where people are often so sensitive to things that could offend others and officialdom goes to such great lengths to use polite euphemism where possible, that a public suicide, with all the horror, misery and mess that involves, is described so graphically like that, publicly, to millions of people, seems really jarring to me.
It seems a little like having a receptionist at a GPs office shouting across a packed waiting room "are you ready for your abortion?" or something. Not saying its necessarily offensive, but I still find it jaw-dropping...Has anyone else noticed this or am I just being oversensitive?

Morgause Wed 17-Jul-13 11:35:02

I think it stops people moaning about bad service and delays - they know there is a very good reason fir the delay.

Souredstones Wed 17-Jul-13 11:35:29

Seems fair enough. Gives everyone realistic expectations of when the trains may get moving again

quesadilla Wed 17-Jul-13 11:36:00

Morgause sure... but could they not say "trains are being delayed by a fatality" or "a fatal incident"?

AnneEyhtMeyer Wed 17-Jul-13 11:36:57

YABU and overly sensitive.

I hate all the euphemisms - why is death so hard to talk about? I think if it was talked about more openly people would fear it less and we wouldn't be in the ridiculous situation of people refusing to donate their loved ones' organs because it has never been discussed.

Souredstones Wed 17-Jul-13 11:37:24

Not all of them are fatal.

Could be worse, they could as "we have a one under, mind your step"

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 17-Jul-13 11:38:00

But it's the same thing, everyone knows that.

At least you know how long it'll be before the trains get going again.

HeySoulSister Wed 17-Jul-13 11:39:02

Can't protect all the over sensitive little souls out there op! Sometimes a good dose of reality isn't a bad thing

Poor driver

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Wed 17-Jul-13 11:40:46

Fulham Broadway this morning?

I know what you mean, OP - though I'd rather know we're not going anywhere for a long time so I can make other plans. If they say "signal failure" (yet again) then that could mean 10 minutes or 3 hours.

VinegarDrinker Wed 17-Jul-13 11:41:54

I was on the Overground & they used "fatality" - half the passengers didn't understand it!

Lazyjaney Wed 17-Jul-13 11:42:48

Does everything have to be a euphemism these days? Are modern peoples minds so delicate?

RoooneyMara Wed 17-Jul-13 11:42:53

Horrible, I agree with you but it is sometimes an accident I expect. Like someone falling off the platform by mistake and they have to delay the train to pull them out safely?

A person under a train isn't always fatal. The announcement is factually accurate, and is done to be as minimally distressing as possible.

TallGiraffe Wed 17-Jul-13 11:43:13

YABU. I think it's a good announcement as barring a few hardhearted folk everyone hearing that will think "poor person, family and driver" and many will offer up a few silent prayers. And then go home and hug their loved ones.

Suelford Wed 17-Jul-13 11:43:17

"Fatality" could mean that someone on board had a heart attack, it's less informative.

SalaciousBCrumb Wed 17-Jul-13 11:43:46

See I think acknowledging that a person is involved is much better than just talking about "an incident on the line" or even a "fatality".

Years ago I was at our (mainline) station when someone jumped in front of an express. I will never forget the sound.

Not shocked at all.

Fakebook Wed 17-Jul-13 11:45:15

YABU. A person under the train is what it is. Saying "fatality" sounds worse to my ears. When I hear the word "fatality" I think of blood and death. Person under the train sounds like just a person under the train.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 17-Jul-13 11:45:42

It doesn't shock me and nor do I really have a sensitive personality but iswym. It just seems 'crude' more than anything and yes, I'd think there was a better way to explain it, if only out of respect for the poor person it's about.

Along the same lines was mine and my mums feelings when reading a letter she'd had after a routine mammogram. The letter actually said 'Dear Mrs X. The results of your recent test show that you do not have breast cancer'. Not that the results were negative or clear etc. Yes it was factually correct but surely there is a more subtle way to put it?

SalaciousBCrumb Wed 17-Jul-13 11:48:12

See I'd completely disagree with you there PrettyKitty - I think it's very important that the letter is worded in that way so there's no room for doubt. Particularly with "negative" - sometimes people don't understand that negative test results are actually good!

quesadilla Wed 17-Jul-13 11:49:03

I'm not saying I think its wrong or particularly offensive, I'm certainly not offended by it... I just find it surprising, for precisely the reasons some of you have outlined. There is so much euphemism in every day life (and I hate it too and far prefer straight talking.) It just literally brings me up short when I hear that "person under a train" thing.

WafflyVersatile Wed 17-Jul-13 11:49:17

'person under a train' is a polite euphemism for the reality of the situation.

K8Middleton Wed 17-Jul-13 11:50:57

I am all for plain speaking and plain English. Especially in medical and test results.

"Person under a train" is fine to use. I'm not sure why it wouldn't be?

Mandy2003 Wed 17-Jul-13 11:51:10

A corpse on the line hmm

WafflyVersatile Wed 17-Jul-13 11:53:12

with the breast cancer one 'negative' or 'clear' could easily be misunderstood.

'you do not have breast cancer'. That is what the person wants to know. It's entirely unambiguous.

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