Soundings Soundings

Language unbecoming

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7303.57/a (Published 07 July 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:57
  1. James Owen Drife, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology
  1. Leeds

    Early one morning I was almost the only passenger—sorry, customer—in the carriage as the train left Edinburgh. “I will look after you, sir,” said the young steward with a faint accent. “I will keep serving complimentary coffee. When you are pissed off, let me know and I will stop.”

    Charmed, I hadn't the heart to explain that in first class we become “replete,” not “pissed off.” I assumed he was European—unlike most train staff, …

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