1. Mind the Gap

Have you ever been in the London subway—or the Underground, as it’s called? If you have, you may have noticed that in some stations of the Underground, the tracks and platform curve slightly between the points where the train enters and leaves the station. Because of the curve, there are gaps at several places between the edge of the platform and a stopped train. A voice on a loudspeaker repeatedly warns passengers, “Mind the gap. . . . Mind the gap.”

Although you’d be unlikely to fall through this platform gap unless you’re thinner than a London telephone book, you could catch your foot or the wheel of a stroller in it, or your keys or wallet could slip through to the track below. Hence, the continuous warnings.

Unlike platform ...

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