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“Mind the Gap” guy dies, sadly not by falling between train and platform


Phil Sayer, the dude who makes the announcement in train stations all over the UK, has died. Of cancer, sadly, not a freak platform accident.

My brain refuses to process “mind the gap” as a phrase with meaning. Fortunately, it’s also painted on station platforms, where at least the words draw my eyes to the appropriate area. There, I might indeed find a big-ass gap between the station and the train, which I will notice. Or mind, if you will.

Their signage also says “way in” and “way out” instead of “entrance” and “exit”, “give way” instead of “yield” and off-duty buses say “I’m sorry I’m not in service” instead of “not in service.” Which, I can’t help thinking, if they cut some of the extraneous verbiage they could go up a point size.

Train announcements are currently done by a woman who sounds exactly like that Overwatch announcer lady in Half Life two. I expect her to call me “citizen” and send those camera drones out after me.

Have a good weekend, y’all — and mind the gap!


Comment from Nina
Time: April 15, 2016, 11:29 pm

I’ve never taken a train the UK, clearly I must do so!

Comment from P2
Time: April 16, 2016, 12:23 am

stand clear of the doors, please

Comment from catnip
Time: April 16, 2016, 4:47 am

That’s sad. He leaves a very nice-looking family behind.

Does the new female voice replace his for all station announcements now, including “Mind the gap”? Establishing protocol for his replacement could be tricky, i.e., would it be a fitting remembrance of his life not to make a substitution, or would travelers construe his familiar reminders as creepy messages from the afterlife?

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: April 16, 2016, 11:54 am

“Mind your manners” is the only American usage of the injunction “mind” that I can think of. I guess “mind” is shorthand for “Let me remind you to … .” I never though about it too much.

I forgot about “mind your own business” and “mind your P’s and Q’s.” Can’t think of any more though, and my Brewer’s is still packed in a box, I am ashamed to say, since I moved 18 months ago. (Last week I found a box of pots and pans that I’d packed for a move in 2000.)

Mind your own bees wax.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 16, 2016, 1:50 pm

“Mind you…” “Mind your mother.” I think we might use “mind” more in the South.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 16, 2016, 2:31 pm

That’s sad. He leaves a very nice-looking family behind.

yeah, they all looked real happy. 🙁

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 16, 2016, 2:32 pm

That’s sad. He leaves a very nice-looking family behind.

yeah, they all looked real happy in the photo. 🙁

Comment from mojo
Time: April 18, 2016, 7:51 am

“the dude who makes the announcement in train stations all over the UK”

Pretty sure that’s a recording.

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: April 18, 2016, 12:47 pm

While you’re waiting to unpack, Deborah HH, you can access Brewer at Bartleby.com

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: April 18, 2016, 7:35 pm

Can’t Hark My Cry—Thank you! Off now to look up “mind” phrases. By the way, the Grizzwells comic strip starring Luther and Pierpoint used the “mind your … ” joke today. http://www.gocomics.com/thegrizzwells

I’m waiting for Husband to buy me another 200 ft of bookshelves so I can finish unpacking. He thinks I should cull about 190 feet of books. It’s a stand-off 🙂

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: April 18, 2016, 8:18 pm

Mind Over Matter: If you don’t Mind, it doesn’t Matter…

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: April 19, 2016, 6:39 pm

“Jangan berdiri dekat pintu” it says on MRT cars in Singapore, along with the corresponding phrases in English and Hokkien (Chinese).

Means stand clear of doors. In Malay. And it will probably be the last phrase to pass through my mind before I die.

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