Do not alight here

Among my favourite examples of over complicated English are the signs of the platform of what was an international station saying, ‘Do not alight here’.

Do not alight here

There’s a sign as you pull into the station
It says,’do not alight here’.
No need for an explanation
You’re sure to know what it means?

We don’t want you planning to set it alight
We don’t want it set on fire
Be careful with your matches
Don’ set the place ablaze.

Or could they have kept it simpler
Said what they meant to say?
If they don’t want us getting off the train
Why don’t they just say?

Say what you mean
Mean what you say
Use much simpler words.
So confusing for foreigners
When you use such arcane words
You don’t need to say
‘Do not alight’
When you just mean
‘Don’t get off’!

 

 

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