Monday, March 24, 2008

Real underground writers

Most public language is so dry and bloodless.

Public bodies would generally rather offend nobody and inspire nobody than inspire 100 and offend one. That's as it has to be I guess, but it's rather dispiriting for those of us who love language and its ability to move the spirit.

Every euphemism is a wasted opportunity.

That's why i love one particular delay announcement on the underground. It pulls no punches, but it's hardly setting out to shock. In fact, it's the prosaic, matter-of-fact tone that bestows its ability to make one shudder. That and the condemnation implicit in the refusal to gild the lily.

"The District Line is closed due to a person under a train"

You conjure up your own image, and it's more effective than any shock-horror don't-throw-yourself-under-a-train-you-inconsiderate-bugger campaign ever could be.

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