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December 18, 2007updated 19 Aug 2016 10:08am

And another thing… lessons on the Underground

While I’m on the subject of dubious grammar, allow me to introduce Exhibit B: a billboard on the London Underground that shouted in huge letters: “Improved Signals Means Less Delays”.I am glad that London Underground is improving its signals. I am

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While I’m on the subject of dubious grammar, allow me to introduce Exhibit B: a billboard on the London Underground that shouted in huge letters: “Improved Signals Means Less Delays”.

I am glad that London Underground is improving its signals. I am even glad that they utilize otherwise-lucrative billboard space in order to tell us so: after all, you have to be seen to be improving, rather than just improving.

But I am less heartened by the fact that the massive message contained not one, but two glaring grammatical errors. Firstly, it should have been “improved signals mean”, not “improved signals means”.

Also, it should have read, “mean fewer delays”, not “mean less delays”.

In fact, for any cynics who travel regularly on the tube – and let’s face it, travelling on the tube can turn the most glad-of-heart optimist into a cynic after a short while — the corrected sentence should read: “Improved signals likely to make little difference. Only fewer people or greater capacity could result in less overcrowding.”

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