Virgin train announcements

“Any passengers not travelling please make your way tothe platform”

But if they aren’t intending to travel they aren’t passengers! AAAAAARGH!

Overheard on the train:

African man on a mobile phone, in fake American accent:


“I don’t give a bunch of ham!”

Not sure what his accent was, possibly East African of some sort. When speaking Englih and not doing he American thing he was clearly non-rhotic. But when speaking another language I didn’t recognise he has a sound that sounds very much like a rolled “R” to me. Which I foolishly thought was odd for a bit, but obviously isn’t. Maybe he doesn’t perceive that sound as the same as an English-language post-vocalic “R”. Maybe the version of English he learned simply doesn;t have an “R” there (as mine doesn’t). There is no reason he should associate the written “R” with a consonant – it might just be a peculiarity of English spelling. Its just a clue that the vowel is lengthened. Our “TH” isn’t a T followed by an H, our “NG” is not an N and a G, the “E” in a word like “fate” is not a vowel, its a clue that the “A” is pronounced differently from the one in “fat”.