Only at King’s Cross?

As my train pulled into King’s Cross, I spotted a serious-looking sign bearing the edict:

Electric Trains Only To Access Platform 0

A couple of questions struck me:

  1. Is King’s Cross the only station with a Platform 0?
  2. Why was my electric train (like many others) NOT pulling into Platform 0, disobeying the serious-looking sign?

It turns out there are other UK stations with a Platform 0: Edinburgh Haymarket and Cardiff Central at least.  But I’m fairly sure King’s Cross is the only station with a Platform 0 AND a sign for Platform 9 3/4.

As for disobeying the serious-looking sign, I reckon the train driver was right to ignore the Ministry of Signs’ half-baked wording.  Since Platform 0 is more enclosed than the other platforms, station management probably want to avoid pollution/fumes (e.g. from diesel trains) building up in the confined space.  So, they want to restrict Platform 0 for use by electric trains only, but not prevent electric trains from using the other platforms.  Sadly, the Ministry’s carelessly placed “only” fluffs both intentions.

A simple “Platform 0: Electric Trains Only” would have sufficed.  But the Ministry ambiguated, consigning the poor placard to an enigmatic existence.

Today’s wordsmithing lesson inspired by the Ministry of Signs:

Say what you mean, then check you mean what you say!

Update 29/06/2010: Stockport also has a Platform 0 (thanks Oli!)

I could care less

Why do some people online write “I could care less” when seemingly meaning “I really don’t care” or, in fact, “I couldn’t care less” – the opposite of their written meaning? Is this some kind of “bad means good” or “sick means great” meaning inversion, or are the users oblivious to the fact that they’re saying the opposite of what they mean? I guess by writing this I’ve proved that literally I could care less. D’oh!

Will iPhone 4 speak English?

My iPhone 3GS doesn’t speak English as I know it.  The “Favorites”, “Airplane Mode” and “Carrier” menu items to my mind should be “Favourites”, “Flight-safe Mode” and “Network”.  Odd that my iPhone knows how to space UK telephone numbers correctly (I know few people who do), and how to correct my spelling in text messages, but lets itself down with its own menu terminology.  Ho hum.  At least the upgrade to iOS4 is free – bring on 21st June. When my third-party apps can multitask, I’m bound to get more done 🙂