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"Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

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"Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

I am working on an article in part about London transport, which I really love. I was thinking up all the things I like about the Tube (especially as compared to the NYC subway, my local transport) and although it seems silly, I really enjoy the "way out" signs. For one, it's impossible to get turned around because the signs are always there when you step off the train. But I also just like the sound of it-- I'm not sure why though?

Does anyone have an explanation of why the UK uses the phrase "Way out" whereas most other countries seem to use exit (or their translation of it)? Just curious.

Regards,

Kiki (http://souvenirfinder.com)

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71. Re: "Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

Signage is always important to travellers, so am baffled as to why when in Fenchurch Street station or just outside it there is a total lack of adequate signage to Tower Hill tube station, or why in Stratford railway station there is absolutely no signage showing that the first queue you encounter is for tube tickets whereas rail tickers are obtained around the corner.

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Fenchurch
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72. Re: "Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

Bluebreezer, thanks so much for the link to those Londonist Londonist underground videos on youtube. I've been watching them with my tube-loving son. They're great!

===============================================================================

You're welcome, and thanks for the feedback

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73. Re: "Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

"but I am fascinated with Brit culture and the subtleties of the class system so I'll read anything I can find. Do you have any recommended reading for me? "

There's no British class system.

Social inequality, and the social insularity of different clans, has been in constant flux for at least the past thousand years. Britain's roughly as socially unequal today as in the 1950s (and as the US has now become, though we're not in denial about it: most British clans are a great deal more aware of each other than in the 1950s - which certainly sets them apart from the US) - but that inequality presents itself quite differently from then, and can't be summarised in one silly essay.

Nancy Mitford's (partly) tongue in cheek mid-1950s book was about one small clan's perceptions of the world at one moment, and a moment that clan (accurately) felt its privileges under threat.

One of the odder customs among that clan was that it didn't educate its womenfolk: neither Nancy nor her sisters ever spent a day in a school - though her family's profound ignorance about most of the world they lived in was extreme even by their clan's standards.

The underlying assumption in the U/non-U argument that a few thousand people spoke one way and 50 million in one different way was just as inane then as now. But the book was written at almost the precise moment (1956) her clan's fading influence in Britain's formal culture was being publicly accepted. It coincided with a number of watermarks (like the Suez invasion, the launch of independent television and therefore of TV advertising, a wave of working-class drama, Bill Haley's tour and, a few months later, Lennon and McCartney's first public performance) of a huge slug of changes in a Britain its more grotesquely uneducated citizens thought had been like that forever.

The real recommendation to anyone interested in Britain's quirky social structures is to stop reading books and look and listen to modern Britain: hte TV programmes we really watch and the newspapers we really follow. The Daily Mail is about a great deal more than celebrity scandals, understanding us must include reading all the tabloids (both the sensationalist ones and those too up themselves for anyone's good, like the Guardian) - and the Great British BakeOff gets much the same audience as Downton and its cousin soap opera fantasies of a bygone era, Coronation Street and East Enders (al three of which owe their popularity to outrageous plots set in a world no-one lives in any more).

The best book about the Britain Nancy Mitford simply didn't understand in 1956 (she hadn't lived here for a decade, and never lived here after) is David Kynaston's Modernity Britain, though I suspect following it might need more detailed knowledge about the minutiae of British life than most visitors or observers have.

The immense physical reconstruction of Britain's cities between 1950 and 1970 has had huge social consequences that few foreigners ever even notice, and both Coronation Street and East Enders largely ignore. Anyone visiting us won't find getting out of London takes them to the "real Britain" (London's no less real than Liverpool, and a great deal more real than my Cotswold idyll). But listening to BBC Radio London (local radio here seems to include far more talk-intensive programmes than I usually find in the US, and that talk seems less dominated by lunatics on phone-in chat shows), reading local papers and looking at the world around Stratford East offer far more insights into our culture than any posh paper.

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Nancy
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74. Re: "Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

Flanner,

You are Dominic Stanbrook and I claim me free DVD of your latest TV series :-)

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75. Re: "Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

There's no British Class system?

Britain is riddled with a classes

The edges of which might be blurred a bit from time to time but they exist and operate as always

Some people can put you in a category immediately by

The use of a single word

" Lavatory" being an example, napkin/ serviette another.

Ridiculous but nevertheless its there

The school people attend gives other clues

How they spend , earn or obtain their money.

How long the money has been in the family

How old your furniture is, and if your great grandfather bought it so much the better in some circles

The car you drive, ranger rover or old land rover?

The class system is alive and well in the shires and cities still to be observed

I would look first in areas like the Cotswolds for some prime examples

Edited: 4:22 am, November 16, 2013
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Cotswolds
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76. Re: "Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

My daughters are from a working class background but were lucky - and clever enough - to go to Cambridge university, and their take on this is that the class system is alive and kicking in the UK today, not because they studied this at Cambridge but because they experienced it first hand with the other students they met.

Of course it isn't as straight-cut and clear as it was say 50/60 years ago, there is more mobility through the class system but unfortunately not nearly enough, and now we have another class to cope with 'the lower or underclass', different from the working class inasmuch as the poor beggars stuck at the bottom of the pile have no work.

And quite frankly to assert that we don't still have a class system when we quite flagrantly possess in this nation a thriving aristocracy and royal family is ludicrous.

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Cambridge
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77. Re: "Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

To me, " way out" means weird, and " exit" is what I will swiftly effect towards the " egress".

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78. Re: "Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

To differentiate between an emergency exit and the way out.

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79. Re: "Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

I just wanted to thank everyone for your help with my London Underground post, it is published and has been my most popular yet! I dropped a little thank you at the end to some TA handle names. I've posted in many forums for assistance but this one is my favorite, I love the lively, but respectful debates here!

Best,

Kiki (http://souvenirfinder.com)

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80. Re: "Way out" v. Exit-- does anyone know why?

Thanks! What a lovely read!