As commuters, all we want is a smooth ride in. But it always seems like we are working against something. And there are certain words that, when we hear them, can guarantee a lousy commute.

If you’re on your way to work and hear any of these words, settle in for a tough time.

“Police” - As in, “this train is delayed due to police activity at L’Enfant Plaza.” The worst part is that you rarely get an explanation. It may simply be a sick passenger. Or it may be that the train struck someone trying to cross the tracks. Or it may be a naked guy who got a little crazy.

“Offloading” - As in, “this train is out of service and will be offloading.” Imagine a packed Metro or MARC train, and imagine those hundreds of passengers slowly exiting, then waiting on a super-crowded platform for a train that is already full when it arrives. No fun.

“Overturned” - As in, “there’s an overturned tractor trailer blocking the inner loop of the Beltway,” or “A truck overturned and there are marshmallow peeps all over the highway.”

“Suspended” - As in, “service has been suspended between Shady Grove and Glenmont.” Extra fun if “suspended” is combined with “indefinitely.”

“Closed” - As in, “I-66 now closed” or “The right lane will be closed to accommodate pothole repair.” Blargh.

“Detour” - As in, “Follow the detour that takes you six miles out of the way in order to avoid this roadwork.” Seriously, is it me, or do detours always seem to take you on the “ultra-scenic” route?

“Standing” -As in, “there will be standing-room only conditions on the MARC train today.” Or, “this road is closed due to a large amount of standing water.” Commuting is always more pleasant when sitting is involved.

“Disabled” -As in, “Red Line service is delayed due to a disabled train at Farragut North,” or, “a disabled vehicle is blocking the right lane of I-270.” We should do what we can to help disabled people. Disabled vehicles, on the other hand, are the bain of our commuting existence.

“Construction” - As in, “There will be construction on I-66 outside the Beltway starting this spring.” There’s an irony here, though, because many commuters would love to see more construction of road lanes, bike lanes, and Metro stations. But we don’t want to deal with the associated disruption.

What other words do you dread to hear when commuting?

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