WMATA's Alternative Dictionary

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has inserted a few shiny new buses into their usually-ragged mix. The new buses are bright & sparkly like new buses should be, with blue seats & yellow rails & an aura that doesn't scream "Some kid peed in this seat right before you sat on it."

I'm jazzed about them, I am, especially combined with the snazzy new Next Bus service which (usually) works fairly well at letting me know exactly how behind-schedule I'm running. But one thing really irks me about these otherwise-lovely new vehicles: Why did WMATA need to make up a word for this floor sign?

Riddle me this: Wouldn't "standing" have been just as effective? And even if they wanted to use a noun instead of a gerund (you're welcome for that impromptu grammar lesson), doesn't "standers" seem like the proper path to take?!


  1. I think it's a public transportation word. Our buses have the same sign.

  2. Standees! Haha, that's great. Perhaps the bus creatures never learned to read?

  3. you win smartypants of the day for teaching me the word: gerund.

    you also win the Kreativ Blogger award, i awarded you on my bliggity blog

  4. They don't want a "standing orgy" to occur en route.

  5. Agreed. "Standee" would mean that it is a person upon whom a "stand" is being enacted by another agent, in the vein of infector/infectee (wherein the infector has infected the infectee with an infection). Clearly one does not enact a stand upon someone else. Ergo, bad grammar.

    How much do you love me right now for my dorkish ways?

  6. Oh WMATA, they will never make sense to me.

  7. I dunno, I think every real dictionary would agree with WMATA. According to Merriam-Webster standee is "a standing person" or "one who occupies standing room." The word dates back to 1856.



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