Mighty Red Pen

January 11, 2009

More trouble on the MBTA

Filed under: Word wars — mighty red pen @ 3:00 pm
Tags: ,

Magnum PI returns to report some language hijinks that are afoot on the MBTA:

The MBTA has added a couple more PA announcements to the cycle. MRP readers already know about the dangler in the general manager’s message about safety. The agency has since added one discouraging the practice of fare-skipping. The chief of the MBTA police intones: “If you do not pay your fare, you may be citated by an MBTA police officer or official.” Presumably, he meant, “you may be issued a citation,” or even more simply “you may be cited.”

To which MRP can only say, Strong work, Magnum. Perhaps the MBTA should be cited for its incorrect use of this word.

However, showing himself to be as reckless as his namesake, Magnum continues, “But since I don’t know what citated means, I think I’ll try skipping the fare on my next ride to find out what happens.”

While I admire his gumption, I fear we may have a Magnum on the MBTA on our hands: And did he ever return? No, he never returned, and his fate is still unknown. He may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston, he’s the man who never returned.

Er, Magnum? Anyone seen Magnum lately?

Update 1/13: Thankfully, Magnum has been located. He reports, “Shortly after I submitted this post to MRP, the MBTA re-recorded (and re-transcribed, for the running-text LED signs) this message. The man now correctly intones, ‘You will be issued a citation by an MBTA police officer or official.'”

Well, thank goodness, we can all rest easy now that truth, justice, and the editorial way have been restored.


1 Comment »

  1. Wow, more than 23,000 Google hits for ‘citated’. And the more I look at it, the more it seems like a good word. One that could exclusively mean ‘issued a citation (to)’, leaving ‘cited’ to mean ‘quoted’, perhaps.

    Comment by JD — January 13, 2009 @ 4:53 pm | Reply

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