Malone is the author behind Trainjotting.com, a blog he started in 2007 to chronicle his daily trek on Metro-North. Along the way, he’s made some humorous observations, which he has used to create a new vocabulary only Metro-North commuters can truly understand.
He’s turned it into a book called “The New York Commuter’s Glossary,” which was published in June. It’s illustrated by Joseph Walden.
Here’s how Malone described it to me in an email: “Around 70 different made up commuter terms are in the book, all of which ran on Trainjotting previously. The goal of the book—and one of the goals of Trainjotting—was to try to spin some humor out of this really dour aspect of people’s lives known as the commute.”
Do any of these words ring true to you? How long before one of them becomes mainstream and pops up in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary?
ACCIDENTAL TOURIST: \AKS-sidd-dental TOR-ist\ noun: Falling asleep on the commute and waking up several stops past your own in a strange land.
I had two martinis after work, then pulled an accidental tourist on the 5:46 to White Plains when I woke up in Southeast and had to cough up 85 bucks for a cab home.
ASSENGER \AHS-en-jerr\ noun: An infrequent train rider with no knowledge of, or no respect for, the customs, manners and mores of the seasoned daily commuter.
It would’ve been a nice quiet ride on the 6:18 to Westport, but these assengers were carrying on some inane, and way too loud, conversation about growing corn somewhere in the heartland.
TRAMNESIA \tram-NEEZH-yuh\ noun: Waking up from a deep sleep on the train, not knowing what stop you’re at, and bolting for the door in the assumption that the current stop is yours.
I had two Bloody Marys at lunch, then had a serious bout of tramnesia when the train stopped in Mamaroneck and I thought it was Port Chester.
Malone tells me the you can see more of the list at NYCommuterGlossary.com or get the book at the Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, Waxman’s Newsstand at the White Plains station, Pylones in Grand Central Terminal, or Amazon.com. You can also get it in e-book form.