Thursday, October 24, 2013


I prefer the spelling above ever since I saw it in a New York Times crossword puzzle.  Normally I would write it off as "those easterners" being pretentious about things that don't matter, but in this case, I do think it's more correct: people from Ohio are not Ohions and people from Missouri are not Missourins.  Just thought I would clear that up before anyone got all huffy about it

I toned down this post from its original version; I kept the title.

Last week I talked about how I saw a whole crowd of people whose first language was not English and who were clearly visitors to the fair city of Salt Lake.  They had never gotten on TRAX at Salt Lake Central before in their lives.

And they all walked to the edge of the platform and crossed at the crosswalk.  All of them.  At a crosswalk they didn't even have to cross at (though this was not apparent to them, as they were new to the area).  They all got it.

So what is Utahans' problem?  Why do we sit on the edge of the platform with our feet hanging over the tracks?  Why do we stand on the FrontRunner tracks and pass our personal belongings from one side of the tracks to the other?  Why do we walk right down the middle of the TRAX tracks downtown, then look at the driver in annoyance when she screams at us over the PA?  Why do we jump between stopped railroad cars, or try to crawl under stopped railroad cars, risking our lives to save at most a few minutes?

Perfect strangers to our city get it right.  Why are we all idiots?

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