full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Michael Bierut: The genius of the London Tube Map

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Enter Harry Beck. Harry Beck was a 29-year-old engineering draftsman who had been working on and off for the London unourengdrd. And he had a key insight, and that was that polepe riding underground in trains don't really care what's heiannppg aboveground. They just want to get from station to station — "Where do I get on? Where do I get off?" It's the system that's important, not the geography. He's taken this complicated mess of spaghetti, and he's simplified it. The lines only go in three directions: they're horizontal, they're vteiacrl, or they're 45 degrees. Likewise, he spaced the stations equally, he's made every station coolr correspond to the color of the line, and he's fixed it all so that it's not really a map anymore. What it is is a diagram, just like circuitry, except the circuitry here isn't wires conducting electrons, it's tuebs containing trains codtnincug people from pclae to place.

Open Cloze

Enter Harry Beck. Harry Beck was a 29-year-old engineering draftsman who had been working on and off for the London ___________. And he had a key insight, and that was that ______ riding underground in trains don't really care what's _________ aboveground. They just want to get from station to station — "Where do I get on? Where do I get off?" It's the system that's important, not the geography. He's taken this complicated mess of spaghetti, and he's simplified it. The lines only go in three directions: they're horizontal, they're ________, or they're 45 degrees. Likewise, he spaced the stations equally, he's made every station _____ correspond to the color of the line, and he's fixed it all so that it's not really a map anymore. What it is is a diagram, just like circuitry, except the circuitry here isn't wires conducting electrons, it's _____ containing trains __________ people from _____ to place.

Solution

  1. underground
  2. tubes
  3. place
  4. happening
  5. color
  6. vertical
  7. people
  8. conducting

Original Text

Enter Harry Beck. Harry Beck was a 29-year-old engineering draftsman who had been working on and off for the London Underground. And he had a key insight, and that was that people riding underground in trains don't really care what's happening aboveground. They just want to get from station to station — "Where do I get on? Where do I get off?" It's the system that's important, not the geography. He's taken this complicated mess of spaghetti, and he's simplified it. The lines only go in three directions: they're horizontal, they're vertical, or they're 45 degrees. Likewise, he spaced the stations equally, he's made every station color correspond to the color of the line, and he's fixed it all so that it's not really a map anymore. What it is is a diagram, just like circuitry, except the circuitry here isn't wires conducting electrons, it's tubes containing trains conducting people from place to place.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
harry beck 3
london underground 2

Important Words

  1. aboveground
  2. anymore
  3. beck
  4. care
  5. circuitry
  6. color
  7. complicated
  8. conducting
  9. correspond
  10. degrees
  11. diagram
  12. draftsman
  13. electrons
  14. engineering
  15. enter
  16. equally
  17. fixed
  18. geography
  19. happening
  20. harry
  21. horizontal
  22. important
  23. insight
  24. key
  25. line
  26. lines
  27. london
  28. map
  29. mess
  30. people
  31. place
  32. riding
  33. simplified
  34. spaced
  35. spaghetti
  36. station
  37. stations
  38. system
  39. trains
  40. tubes
  41. underground
  42. vertical
  43. wires
  44. working