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Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"  
User currently offlineMwscan From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7529 times:

This is my first post, so please forgive me if it's redundant.

This little linguistic mannerism has always boggled me:

On most flights I've been on, F/As and cockpit crew tend to use the word, "about" when "around" would seem more appropriate.

Examples: "Please keep your seat belt securely fastened about you." or "If you're up and about the cabin, please return to your seat."

While I'm at it, here's another thing I've heard more than a few times: "Please return your seat back to its full and upright position." I could understand "fully upright," but "full AND upright??" (Sounds like something from a eulogy for a rotund mayor: "He was a full and upright citizen. . .")

It's not jsut one airline; I've heard these on AA, UA, CO, and more.

Is there some actual reason for such wording? Any words of wisdom (or words of amusement -- those are good, too) wold be appreciated.

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7405 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7508 times:
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Quoting Mwscan (Thread starter):
Examples: "Please keep your seat belt securely fastened about you." or "If you're up and about the cabin, please return to your seat."

At NWA, our seatbelt announcement is as follows: "To fasten your seatbelt, insert the falt metal end into the buckle, tighten by pulling on the loose end of the strap. To unfasten, lift up on the top plate of the buckle". You also have to take into account that many ad lib and don't use the prescript. They use words that may not be written in their annoucement handbooks, if they use announcement handbooks



Made from jets!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24868 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7495 times:

Many inflight announcements don't make much sense or are cluttered with unnecessary words, especially when flight attendants start improvising from the standard announcements.

User currently offlineJBo From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 2313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7487 times:

The airline industry, in terms of announcements, is chock full of padded and redundant language under the auspices that it comes off more "professional." Anyone with any education in communication knows that being brief and to the point is the key to an effective message.


I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
User currently offlineWNCrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1444 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7413 times:

We say "..seatbelts should be worn low and tight across your hips and at all times while seated."

What's wrong with "Full upright and locked position"? A seatback can be partially reclined....and we don't want them returned to their partially upright position....we want them FULLY upright.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineLASOctoberB6 From Japan, joined Nov 2006, 2380 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7375 times:

i tell the passengers.."Put your damn seatbelt on or the plane doesnt move from the gate.." i'd be such a mean F/A...lol. ive always found it weird when they say Full and Upright position...(im not a flight attendant)


[NOT IN SERVICE] {WEStJet}
User currently offlinePdxcof9 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7362 times:

Reminds me of a Simpsons episode when Bart is flying and they are about to land and the FA tells everyone to remain seated or we will not land. So right as the plane lands bart gets up and an alarm goes off and the plane turns around quickly at the end of the runway and takes back off. The PIC says "thanks for whoever unbuckled, now we have to go back to minneapolis" or wherever they came from. And the whole cabin groans.
I think it's just funny how an alarm goes off when he unbuckles. I love the simpsons and how they animate their planes.  Smile



Flown:733,4,7,8,752,763,TU3,CRJ,7,EM2,ER3,4,318,19,346,M80,90 Worked:CRJ,7,9,EM2,ER4,733,5,7,8,9,752,3,318,9
User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1585 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7297 times:

Every time I've flown in the USA I always shudder when the announcement is made "we shall be taking-off/landing 'momentarily' "

In my view, I want to take off or land for more than a brief moment, not for just a very short period of time . . . !

Two great nations divided by a common language!



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently onlineLHRBFSTrident From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 655 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7207 times:

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 7):
'momentarily

you read my mind - you hear it in the US frequently when customer service agents shout at you, 'I'll be with you momentarily!' - the language pedant in me has to resist shouting back, 'Actually, I was hoping for a bit longer than a mere moment with you!'

then there's that redundant and awfully pompous use of, 'at this time', ie, "ladies and gentlemen at this time we have begun our descent into the London area, at this time please ensure...at this time cabin attendants will...at this time we will patronize you", etc. etc. you could just omit the whole bloody phrase and still have the identical message!

and while we're discussing differences in dialect, anyone else find the use of the direct article in front of the airport name to be really strange? ie, 'THE Los Angeles airport', 'THE Heathrow airport', 'THE Burbank airport', cabin crew say it all the time in the US, as do newscasters...



Next up: LAX-LHR NZ002 Y SkyCouch! LHR-LAX NZ001 Y
User currently offlineBohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7086 times:

Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 8):
then there's that redundant and awfully pompous use of, 'at this time',

If you're bored at the airport, count how many times a customer service rep uses that phrase during announcements.  Smile


User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8443 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7054 times:
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Quoting JBo (Reply 3):
The airline industry, in terms of announcements, is chock full of padded and redundant language

"This is the last and very final call for flight....."



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3610 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7005 times:

Quoting Mwscan (Thread starter):
On most flights I've been on, F/As and cockpit crew tend to use the word, "about" when "around" would seem more appropriate.

Examples: "Please keep your seat belt securely fastened about you." or "If you're up and about the cabin, please return to your seat."

"About" is actually more proper in this situation, although language does change and "around" is typically used in the same way as "about" in the US these days. But "about" is really the correct word here; "around" would really mean you were outside the cabin. (It would mean you're in the vicinity of the cabin, but not in it.) That's not always the way it's used these days, but the F/A's are correct in their language usage here.

It's kind of like how some people complain about the term "Near Miss" because they think it's inaccurate and that "Near Collision" is the better term. The latter term would actually mean a collision occured! Words like "near" and "around" exist for the purpose of describing things "in the vicinity, but not at." "About" describes an action "at".

"About" is also actually more understandable to English speakers around the world, most of whom are not familiar with American colloqualisms, of which "around" is one. So it makes sense to use the proper "about" during travel.

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 4):
What's wrong with "Full upright and locked position"?

He didn't say "full upright" (although that's non-standard English too), he said "full and upright", which is something I've heard too. I'm just picturing a guy throwing a bunch of stuff onto his tray table until it's full, and then trying to lock it. Hey, he's just following instructions.

The word "and" connects two separate conditions, each of which is independent of the other. "Full and upright" and "Fully upright" do not mean the same thing.

The "last and final" thing seems to be an epidemic that crosses transportation mediums... I hear it every day on the train in to work now.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineFLFlyGuy From United States of America, joined May 2004, 244 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6794 times:
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Quoting Andz (Reply 10):
"This is the last and very final call for flight....."

This IS really overused. Probably made at least 3 times for each flight. But the pitiful part is how often.....even after numerous "last and final" calls there are, some idiot doesn't board and claims they weren't advised that the flight was ready to leave.

In many ways, the flying public reaps what it sows!



The views expressed are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer.
User currently offlineKhobar From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2379 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6728 times:

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 7):
Every time I've flown in the USA I always shudder when the announcement is made "we shall be taking-off/landing 'momentarily' "

In my view, I want to take off or land for more than a brief moment, not for just a very short period of time . . . !

Two great nations divided by a common language!



Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 8):
you read my mind - you hear it in the US frequently when customer service agents shout at you, 'I'll be with you momentarily!' - the language pedant in me has to resist shouting back, 'Actually, I was hoping for a bit longer than a mere moment with you!'

The use of "momentarily" is actually correct.

Main Entry: mo·men·tar·i·ly
Pronunciation: "mO-m&n-'ter-&-lE
Function: adverb
1 : for a moment
2 archaic : INSTANTLY
3 : at any moment : in a moment


User currently offlineFindingnema From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6563 times:

Quoting Bohica (Reply 9):
If you're bored at the airport, count how many times a customer service rep uses that phrase during announcements.

I use "at this time" out of habit, it's not in any of the scripted announcements, but I'm so used to hearing it from other airlines and it also perfectly depicts what's going on now to the people who are wanting to swarm around your gate podium like bees. I do try to make sure it's only once in the announcement though, but it can get ridiculous with every sentence beginning "at this time."

Quoting Andz (Reply 10):
"This is the last and very final call for flight....."

Sad as it is, using "last and final" stresses to passengers meandering about the terminal that their flight is waiting to depart. Although as you mention it does sound like we're padding the announcements as we love the sound of our own voices, it's imperative that passengers rush to the gate by this point as we really have to go.



My postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent British Airways’ positions, strategies or opinions
User currently offlineBongo From Colombia, joined Oct 2003, 1863 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6498 times:

Quoting Mwscan (Thread starter):
This is my first post, so please forgive me if it's redundant.

Just curiosity: you joined 2years 53days ago (April 3, 2005), why did you take so long for your first post?



MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6480 times:

Quoting Findingnema (Reply 14):
Sad as it is, using "last and final" stresses to passengers meandering about the terminal that their flight is waiting to depart. Although as you mention it does sound like we're padding the announcements as we love the sound of our own voices, it's imperative that passengers rush to the gate by this point as we really have to go.

At DTW last week

"This is the final boarding call for Northwest Airlines flight XXXX with service to ----. The door will be closing in two minutes and will not be reopened. Passengers Sue Smith and Frank Jones, this is your final opportunity to board fight XXXX with service to ---. The door will be closing in two minutes and will not be reopened."

I heard it a couple times for various flights -- a nice change from a couple years ago when there was nearly two hours of "This is the final and immediate boarding call for Northwest Airlines flight 323 with service to Paris" (all the same flight and all suposedly the "Final" boarding call)

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineMwscan From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6001 times:

Quoting Bongo (Reply 15):
Just curiosity: you joined 2years 53days ago (April 3, 2005), why did you take so long for your first post?

Years ago there was a TV program in the USA, which was called, "Mr. Ed." It was about a talking horse. One line in the theme song was, "Mr. Ed will never speak unless he has something to say."

While I'm not a horse, my communication habits are similar . . .

But, now that I'm started, who knows?!

As to the topic, Spacecadet's analysis rings true, especially after a comparison of about/around at onelook.com.

My favorite improv on the "seat-backs up" announcement happened many years ago on UA: "Please return your seat back to its most uncomfortable upright position." No ambiguity there!

And . . . I'm blown away that my first post made it onto the home page list!


User currently offlineEvan767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5939 times:

The worst is from the pilots:

Ladies and gentlemen, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.............................














.............hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....



The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5827 times:

At this time, a.k.a. Right now is my favorite.
George Carlin has a great thing about the airlines "language", makes me crack up every time.
-A



What now?
User currently offlineEmbajador3 From Spain, joined Aug 2006, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5694 times:

Quoting Evan767 (Reply 18):
The worst is from the pilots:

Ladies and gentlemen, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.............................














.............hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....

Hahahahahahaha!!! hilarious!
 Silly



Flying Together
User currently offlineIFly4UAL From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days ago) and read 5658 times:

Quoting Andz (Reply 10):



Quoting Andz (Reply 10):
"This is the last and very final call for flight....."

The one big issue I'd have with this (besides the fact that it is used WAY too many times to conclude the boarding of a flight) is that "last" and "final" are the same thing! How can you have a last AND a FINAL boarding call? That annoys me probably more than anything when hearing airport announcements.



BGR--Vacation Spot for All the Flying Crazies
User currently offlineJFKPurser From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 486 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days ago) and read 5631 times:

My seatbelt PA for the last 21 years:

"Please be sure your seatbelt is fastened. If you're standing, please return to your seat."

It's short and does not make me or anyone else look stupid. We all heard the "ding" and know what just happened. I do not have to tell everyone that the sign is on, instead I just ask them what I would like to do in a nice way.

I agree that there are 50% more words than necessary in most FA PAs. Most airlines -- including mine -- do a poor job of scripting the official announcements they give to us.

George Carlin does a really funny take on all this type of airline redundancy.

Most people don't pay attention to a word we say anyway.


User currently offlineRwy04LGA From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (7 years 2 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5567 times:

Quoting JFKPurser (Reply 22):
Most people don't pay attention to a word we say anyway.

Not true! We hang on every word you say (except the part about turning off electronic devices 'cause ahma gonna DAMN sure get a video of the taxi/takeoff/landing/taxi).



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3917 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (7 years 2 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5557 times:

One of my perticular favourites "Assemlby call on Ryanair flight FRXXX to Anywhere - passengers intending to travel on this service should assemble in tha area at Gate 4"

Looking out the window the aircraft has only just landed on the runway, yet everyone is standing and waiting to board! What a joke!

My absolute favourite has to be " this is a VERY last and VERY FINAL boarding call for passenger Smith intending to travel on Aer Lingus flight EI712 to London Heathrow....."

How can it be very last, and very final? Hmmmmm  Wink

Brian.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
25 Drewwright : How about this. "Annnnd Ladies and gentlemen." "Annnd prior to departure, Annnndd we DO ask......" I think its just a lingo thing. People dont make fu
26 Post contains images Rivet42 : I wish the f/a's would stop saying "... we will do our VERY best to help you, in ANY way we can...." because it just raises expectations way beyond wh
27 Post contains links Viscount724 : It's here, the entire first link and the first part of the second link. Parental Guidance required (language): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9mekg2
28 Post contains images LHRBFSTrident : My OED has the 'N.Amer.' meaning of, 'at any moment, very soon', as the 4th entry interesting point - but using 'momentarily' to mean, 'in a moment'
29 Viscount724 : Also LX. It's usually "Boarding completed, passenger count correct". Another announcement that used to be common when the No Smoking sign came on, in
30 Levent : Are you sure about what you said? How can 'near collision' mean that it has actually occured? According to your explanation, 'near miss' would mean '
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