May 19

The redundant school of redundancy

Until this morning, I thought the expression, ‘last and final’ was limited to those crack train conductors onTrain
NJ Transit. Not so, a U.S. Airways gate agent just used the very same redundancy to let us know we’d better hustle if we wanted to make it onto the LA flight.
I once tried to correct an NJT conductor after he used the puzzling term. I said, ‘By the way, did you know that last and final mean the same thing?’ He gave me one of those quizzical looks I can remember receiving from one of the rocket scientists I went to high school with, and walked away.
No one expects train conductors and airport gate agents to be grammarians. Still, it would be nice if their employers held basic communications workshops every now and then. And, that’s my last and final comment on the subject.