Passing through a U.S. airport is an immersion in a merciless river of words. They are intended to be helpful, but clearly they flow from an assumption that increasingly animates our government in its transactions with us. The assumption is that we are all infants or imbeciles in need of constant, kindly supervision and nudging, lest we allow ourselves to be flung off a moving walkway and over the edge of the world.
In Denver, underground trains take passengers to and from the ticketing area and departure concourses. As a train arrives, an announcement slightly louder than the noise of the arriving train says: “A train is arriving.” Do tell.
At Kansas City’s airport, a recurring announcement tells travelers: “Designated smoking areas are located outside, away from doors.” That means the designated smoking areas are pretty much the entire Midwest and everything contiguous to it — all of Creation that is “away from” this airport’s doors.
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