mwscan
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Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 7:39 am

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.
 
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jetjack74
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 7:51 am

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!
 
Viscount724
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 7:55 am

Many inflight announcements don't make much sense or are cluttered with unnecessary words, especially when flight attendants start improvising from the standard announcements.
 
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JBo
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 7:57 am

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.
 
WNCrew
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 8:25 am

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.
 
LASoctoberB6
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 8:42 am

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}
 
pdxcof9
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 8:49 am

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
 
carduelis
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 9:17 am

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!
 
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LHRBFSTrident
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 10:40 am

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...
 
bohica
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 1:38 pm

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
 
andz
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 1:56 pm

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...
 
spacecadet
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 2:40 pm

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!
 
flflyguy
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 10:36 pm

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.
 
khobar
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sat May 26, 2007 11:45 pm

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
 
findingnema
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 6:02 am

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
 
bongo
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 6:38 am

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!
 
lincoln
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 6:39 am

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
 
mwscan
Posts: 6
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 7:58 am

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!
 
Evan767
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 8:31 am

The worst is from the pilots:

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














.............hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....
The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
 
UN_B732
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 12:45 pm

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?
 
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Embajador3
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 6:44 pm

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

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














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

Hahahahahahaha!!! hilarious!
 Silly
Flying Together
 
IFly4UAL
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 7:39 pm

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
 
JFKPurser
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 7:58 pm

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.
 
rwy04lga
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 9:05 pm

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
 
BrianDromey
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Sun May 27, 2007 9:19 pm

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)
 
drewwright
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Mon May 28, 2007 8:06 am

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 fun of cops for calling in a "10-99"... Or cashiers asking for a "a wet cleanup aisle 4" Each profession has its language all to its own.

DRW
 
Rivet42
Posts: 604
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Mon May 28, 2007 9:22 am

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 where they belong!  Smile
I travel, therefore I am.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Mon May 28, 2007 9:34 am

Quoting JFKPurser (Reply 22):
George Carlin does a really funny take on all this type of airline redundancy.

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_lMM&mode=related&search=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh8E7J1SPHY&mode=related&search=
 
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LHRBFSTrident
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Mon May 28, 2007 11:05 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 13):
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

My OED has the 'N.Amer.' meaning of, 'at any moment, very soon', as the 4th entry  Wink

interesting point - but using 'momentarily' to mean, 'in a moment' sounds pretentious - AND (maybe because?) it requires more effort to enunciate then 'in a moment', 'very soon' or 'shortly' as it has more syllables then the words/phrases it replaces...!

and maybe now to steer the thread back to aviation: I've always got a kick out of Lufthansa's, 'Boarding Completed' announcements - it just makes you feel like the whole rigamarole is being conducted with precision and efficiency - and you know exactly when you can jump up and grab that row of 4 seats for your Y-class lie-flat experience!

Although being told your altitude in metres makes you feel like you're in an Olympic event (the Games, not the airline...)
 
Viscount724
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Mon May 28, 2007 12:54 pm

Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 28):
and maybe now to steer the thread back to aviation: I've always got a kick out of Lufthansa's, 'Boarding Completed' announcements

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 the days when smoking was permitted onboard, was "Please extinguish all smoking materials". "Cigarettes" would have been a little shorter, since most carriers banned cigar and pipe smoking, although not all. KL used to hand out free cigars in First Class after the meal service, also Sabena.
 
levent
Posts: 1589
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RE: Flight And Cabin Crew Use Of The Word, "about"

Mon May 28, 2007 1:49 pm

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 11):
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".

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 'almost missed, but did not miss and collided'. I for one think that 'near miss' is wrong indeed and it should be 'near collision'.

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 4):
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.

You said it yourself: "we want them fully upright". That's different to 'full upright'. I am not a native English speaker, but I think 'full upright' is not the correct way of saying it.


From a recent trip with Tiger Airways, I remember this announcement: "As Tiger Airways offers a super-value service, we do not allow passengers to bring their own food and beverage on board. You can purchase super-valued items from our in-flight menu." Now, if I want my trip to be super-valued, I would prefer to have my own food and drink which I maybe prepared at home before getting on this flight, wouldn't I? Apart from the excessive use of 'super-valued' I think they're shooting themselves in the foot by saying this. Besides, their in-flight menu prices aren't that 'super-valued' anyway!

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