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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?

samandi Wed 17-Jul-13 16:09:59

I think it's fine.

I mean, obviously, everything isn't fine ... many people will be delayed on their journeys after all :-(

yamsareyammy Wed 17-Jul-13 16:54:36

But I wonder, becscertainstar, why there are so many "person under a train".
And I could be wrong, but I think it is precisely because it so obvious what has happened.
Suicides often happen in clusters.

mrsballack Wed 17-Jul-13 17:05:06

I can't see the problem with the announcement. We have it drilled into us that passengers want to be told the truth.

You'd think it would stop people having a go, but sadly that's not the case. Having dealt with the aftermath of many a 'person under a train' incidents, I can say that most of the public give a small sigh and find another route. But there are plenty that yell at the staff and shout and scream.

ubik Wed 17-Jul-13 17:11:04

That announcement has never bothered me. The fact the poor driver has hit someone has bothered me. A lot.

I don't understand the point of the op

ubik Wed 17-Jul-13 17:12:55

Sorry posted too soon

The other point these announcements may be fir other staff as well as passengers to let staff know the actual situation - a body under a train will probably trigger many, many processes some that passengers wi definitely not be aware of.

Worriedmind Wed 17-Jul-13 17:30:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

microserf Wed 17-Jul-13 17:43:26

No, I think saying person under a train is just right. It reinforces the severity of the situation, makes people less likely to have a go at the station staff, and indicates how long you can expect the train line to be out of action.

Did anyone see the tube documentary they had a while back? I felt very sad for the drivers and tube and other staff who had to attend these incidents. It must be awful.

Tapirbackrider Wed 17-Jul-13 17:47:44

There are some members of the travelling public who don't give a fuck about anything or anyone - as long as they can get to their destination then all hell can break loose

I was once stood on a cordon outside Kings Cross stn during an evacuation for a bomb threat, and had to restrain more than one person trying to get through the cordon, determined to get to their train - as if trains would be running!

MackerelOfFact Thu 18-Jul-13 07:36:41

I think the terminology is fine. It covers all bases regarding intent and survival, yet makes it clear that the delay is due to the need to remove a human, alive or dead, from the tracks.

IME, TfL tend to use 'person under a train' but National Rail use 'fatality', 'incident' or 'trespassers on the line' to cover the various eventualities.

desertgirl Thu 18-Jul-13 08:30:30

The preferred way of referring to death in Dubai, at least among the (majority) Indian community, is 'expired'.

It sounds to me like a pot of yogurt or something and am always afraid an inappropriate smile will surface.

Don't see a problem with the 'person under a train' reference but there are always the selfish travellers who object to eg a flight delay because of very sick infant (with equipment) being boarded en route to hospital - there will always be nasty comments from those few.

Trills Thu 18-Jul-13 08:31:58


I think that using the rather antiquated phrase is their way of euphemising it.

t's when they start using phrases that you know they've never said before that you should start to worry.

SinisterBuggyMonth Thu 18-Jul-13 08:39:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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