local station

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jolandarte, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. jolandarte Member

    Hi everyone!

    If an English friend is complaining with me that nowadays conversations between people are more like filling in a form than having a conversation, and s/he says: "It happens in the buffet of my local station, too:
    'Coffee, please.'
    'Drink here or take away?'
    'Take away, please.'
    'Black or white?'" ecc.

    What should I understand, according to you?
    That this conversation s/he heard was in the place where they sell sandwiches, brioches, coffee, drinks at the rail station OR at the gas/petrol station of his/her neighbourhood?
    Do gas/petrol stations have buffets in England? In Italy, some big petrol stations also has a buffet (in italian, "bar"), that's why I get a bit confused..

    Thank you!
  2. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    English / England
    It could be either, so your personal knowledge of how she travels will be the best answer!

    In general though, I would think train station was the most likely.
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    I would have thought a station was always a railway station (including the underground), not a petrol station. I've never heard it used that way.
  4. jolandarte Member

    Thanks, suzi!

    Well, in fact it is a text and it is not specified.
    But in the text, some sentences before, there is also something similar saying "my local pub", instead.

    So, do you say "my local station" to refer to the train station, as to say "the train station of my town" in general?
    Or is it maybe used for big cities where there are more than one station?(although it is not specified where this person lives, either)
  5. jolandarte Member

    I did not consider the tube station, because I seem to remember that there aren't buffets there. :p
    And since it is not specified where he lives, I wouldn't know if there is the tube.

    So, since entangledbank would have thought of a railway station too, I got that train station is at least more likely! :) that's good!
  6. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I could say "my local station" to refer to the railway station. Like entangledbank, I've never heard anyone refer to a filling station as just "station", and in any case, I don't associate the term "buffet" with filling stations.
  7. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    English / England
    My first was made on the basis that petrol stations increasingly have elaborate coffee sales going on in them, so it would be possible to have this conversation about that location. Not that I have actually heard it either!
  8. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    I would be 99.9% sure that it was a railway station. Had it been a petrol station, "petrol station" would have been used.

    Be careful with "local" as in
    Any pub that a person (usually a man) frequents is known as "my local" - it may not be the nearest pub, or even in the immediate locality; it differs in this respect from "my local pub" which would be the nearest.
  9. jarabina Senior Member

    English - Scotland
    I agree with everyone else and would just add that I think (in British English at least) we qualify all other kinds of station apart from train station. I always say bus station, petrol station etc and usually qualify work station, tube station etc but might refer to them as station in the middle of a conversation or where the context is clear e.g. Which station are we getting off at? (whilst in tube). Whereas I rarely say train station.
  10. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    I never say train station! But otherwise, as Jarabina says, a railway station is the only kind of station that needs no specific reference.
  11. jolandarte Member

    Thank you all!You've been very helpful!
  12. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    If you say "local station" in the United States, it virtually always refers to a radio or television station serving the local area and nothing to do with transportation.

    But here again, everybody is forced to speculate.

    The best answer is that if a friend says something you don't understand, ask your friend what he/she means. It's not impolite and you are asking absolutely the best source available. :)

    As a side note, we "complain to," not "with" another person.

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