train down from Manchester we ground to a halt. The manager tannoyed that ‘a person had been struck by a train’ near Hemel Hempstead, as if it was the train’s fault. When I asked, the inspector explained. ‘We’re no longer allowed to say fatality as it upsets people. Happens every day, somewhere on the line.’ I suspect that what really upsets people is not the fact that a stranger has died – which happens, let’s face it, all the time. It’s that they’ll be late.