|The purple line terminus at Planernaya. Not what you'd call “state-of-the-art”|
“The Moscow metro system that carries more than 9 million passengers per day will undergo a massive expansion by 2020, growing in size by 1 1/2 times and creating a second ring line around the city, officials said Wednesday... Deputy Mayor Marat Khusnullin [said], ‘By 2020 we plan to build 150 kilometers of new subway lines and 70 new stations.’”A 150% increase in the size of the Moscow metro would really be something. I read on enthusiastically, especially about the “state-of-the-art cars” which are now said to be coming out of Metrovagonmash. I was only momentarily distracted by wondering if, in Russia with its love of portmanteau words, potatoes are produced at “Potatomash”, and really huge things built by “Monstermash”. Perhaps, in Uzbekistan, the marijuana crop is processed at “Hashmash”.
”Every day, 12 subway lines and 185 stations serve the capital with trains traversing more than 300 kilometres of track at speeds averaging more than 40 kilometres per hour. The new plans would increase those numbers to 451 kilometres of track running through 252 stations.”So the metro is not going to expand by 150%, but by 50% (adding 150 kms of track to the existing 300 to make 451; and increasing the number of stations from 185 to 252—actually a 36% increase). This is substantial and entirely to be welcomed. But it is quite different from “growing in size by 1 ½ times”, as the opening paragraph promised. It is true, that if you multiply 300 by 1.5 you get 450. But the ordinary newspaper reader tends not to think in precise mathematical terms. If the paper had said the metro was to “grow by half”, most people would have expected a 50% increase. Doubling that would represent a doubling in size and, logically, trebling it would mean a 150% increase.
Language postscript: on page 15 of the paper, I see a caption to a touchy-feely picture of balloons at VDHKh which says, “Temperatures are heating up and Muscovites are cooling down...”
Of course, temperatures are not heating up. They are rising. The weather may be heating up. But 25C (which is the temperature in Khimki today) is 25C and can never be 26C or 27C. 25C cannot heat up. Only the weather can do that.