The New York City Subway System announced recently that, going forward, employees making announcements to the riders will no longer begin with the words “Ladies and Gentlemen.” When warning of closing doors, they will say, “Passengers, watch out for the closing doors, please” rather than “Ladies and Gentlemen, watch out for the closing doors, please.”
The change will also apply to all other signage and announcements.
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The change has nothing to do with abandoning the niceties of a bygone era. It is being done, according to what the people running the subway told The New York Times, because “Ladies and Gentlemen” might have been objected to by people in the LGBT community, particularly those in the transgender community who might think that neither “ladies” nor “gentlemen” defines them properly.
Although I mean no offense, I do want to say that I’ve always thought that whichever gender you are transferring to or from, you are at all times either one or the other. But maybe I’m wrong about that.
I personally think that people should be polite and nice to others until they prove they deserve otherwise. How about just calling everybody “folks?”
Anyway, yesterday, a month after the order went down, I took the subway and heard, “Ladies and gentlemen, watch out for the closing doors, please.”
Nobody is yet paying attention to this order.