Tube? (was: Re: Subway!)

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Fri Jun 9 16:06:29 UTC 2000

Have Londoners taken to calling the Underground "the tube"
indiscriminately?  I had it explained to me by a Londoner back in the 60s
that "tube" referred only to the routes created by underground drilling at
greater depths, like the Picadilly and Bakerloo Lines, and would not be
used of routes like the Circle Line, which were near enough to the surface
to be created by the "break and cover" method.  I think I even read the
same thing in some guide book.  I've taken it as gospel ever since, but
maybe it was always more technical than colloquial.

(The break-and-cover lines always seemed "friendlier" to me than the tube
lines.  It always seemed that the Picadilly Line trains came bursting
violently out of their tunnel into the station, as if they were perpetually
angry at being confined to that little tube.)


--On Fri, Jun 9, 2000 3:46 PM +0100 Lynne Murphy <lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK>

> Using the excuse of this subject heading to point out another US/UK
> distinction:
> If you see a sign in London marked 'subway' with an arrow pointing down,
> it's pointing to a walkway under a road or train track.  It's not
> pointing you the way to the Tube.
> Lynne
> Dr M Lynne Murphy
> Lecturer in Linguistics
> School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
> University of Sussex
> Brighton BN1 9QH
> UK

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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