24 // Mistakes

While on a recent subway trip, I noticed the subway line had replaced the live-person announcements for each station with pre-recorded announcements.

Most of the stations along the route have fairly ordinary names. But there’s one station with an odd name, one that’s not even remotely phonetic. Unless you’re from the area, you probably wouldn’t know how to pronounce it correctly.

I listened with interest as the station approached, curious to learn whether this complicated name would be pronounced as it should be.

It wasn’t.

It’s one thing for an out-of-town tourist to bump on the pronunciation of an unfamiliar place name. It’s quite another for a subway line to keep playing something that the majority of their passengers will immediately recognize as being incorrect.

We may be tempted to let mistakes slide. Especially ones that aren’t actively costing us money. After all, who’s going to stop riding the subway over an incorrectly-pronounced station name?

Still, if we’re the ones crafting the system, it’s the small moments that demonstrate whether we’re really paying attention or not.