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where's J. G. Ballard when you need him? [Nov. 28th, 2005|11:03 am]
Just me.
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[mood |annoyedannoyed]

So there was a monorail accident this weekend.

Note I said "accident". Basically, two trains sideswiped each other on a narrow section of track that they shouldn't have both tried to pass at the same time. No one was seriously hurt, other than the trains themselves.

So why does our newspaper instead use the more dramatic word "crash" as well as "accident" while covering this story?

The curious flock to crash site; officials wonder how to separate cars

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. None of the 80 people who were evacuated from the trains on fire ladders was seriously injured.

I have little problem with the use of "crashed", i.e "Pedestrians check out the crashed Monorail trains Sunday in downtown Seattle", as "crashed" has become a synonym for "something which is not working correctly", especially computer systems. But the trains did not "crash"into each other. They scraped.

I think use of the dramatic word "crash" is ill-advised, because it implies an action-movie style collision into Westlake Center or something equally reminiscent of showers of broken glass, crumbled concrete, and Keanu Reeves chasing a mad bomber around public transit systems. Though I'm sure "crash" sells more papers than "accidental scraping leads to stuck trains".
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: das_prompt
2005-11-28 07:15 pm (UTC)
I'm sure the articles explain this somewhere, but I'm still confused on 1) how this happened with two vehicles that have very limited paths of movement and 2) if this it was always possible, why it never happened before.

I mean, it's not like they took a different route that day.
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[User Picture]From: herbaliser
2005-11-28 07:31 pm (UTC)
it's a bloody conspiracy!
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[User Picture]From: colvincd
2005-11-28 07:25 pm (UTC)
"Crash" takes up less space in a newspaper column than "accident," plus it's more in the vernacular, as you pointed out. Fox called it terrible, which is just ridiculous; terrible is when it falls off the rail, crushing 50, or if it was blown up by terrorists.
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[User Picture]From: dougo
2005-11-28 09:42 pm (UTC)
How ironic: only two monorail trains in all of the US, and they crashed into each other!
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[User Picture]From: jtemperance
2005-11-28 11:23 pm (UTC)
"But what if the track should bend?"

"Not on your life, my Hindu friend."
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From: badweatherman
2005-11-29 01:44 am (UTC)
Yes, but the original headline was "Schoolchildren maimed in fiery monorail explosion."
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[User Picture]From: surlytart
2005-11-29 10:23 pm (UTC)
My understanding is that there, at the turn, they were never meant to pass. Someone fucked up.

I should point out that there WAS, supposedly, according to people I know who were there, quite a shower of broken glass. The panels between are (were) visibly crunched.

That said, I think it's hilarious and took many photos on my lunch hour yesterday before they took the trains down.
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