I’ve mentioned the general lack of manners among passengers on the bus. What I may not have mentioned is the general lack of manners on the part of the bus itself. There’s a series of decals on the windows of the buses of the TTC and Mississauga Transit that’s bugged me for a long time.
The first one says, “Please move back – Thank You.” The last part is written in an italicized cursive font, but that’s not what bugs me. What bothers me is that saying “Thank you” as part of your request is presumptuous. It presupposes compliance and sends the message that it’ll waste the supplicant’s time to bother to send a thank-you note later when the arduous task of giving thanks can simply be disposed of up front. I personally sign my written requests with the message “I shall be obliged.” Then I follow up with a thank-you message later, because that’s how I roll.
The second one says, “A little further back. PLEASE!” This one sounds like it’s really losing its patience. With those capital letters, it’s yelling. Plus, it says “further” when it should say “farther”, since we’re talking about actual distance and not just quantity or degree. Stop, take a breath, and read The Elements of Style before yelling at the passengers any further (not farther), bus decal makers.
The third one says, “Thank You for moving back.” Now I do have a problem with that italicized cursive font. It just seems sarcastic after the rudeness of the previous one.
What was really beyond the pale, though, was the sequence of decals I saw on a bus a few weeks back. I assume that the windows had been taken out for some kind of servicing and then replaced in the wrong order. So the very back window, flush against the back wall of the bus, said, “Please move back – Thank You.” Moving through several inches of stainless steel is extremely difficult, if not impossible. This is an obviously unreasonable request, and as such, quite rude.
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