Or avoiding the man in the cab with the gift of the gab.
Taxi drivers in travel articles
Taxi drivers must be the most quoted people in travel articles. If you were to believe everything you read, it would appear as though taxi drivers across the world are overflowing fonts of useful information.
Strange, isn’t it? The taxi driver manages to come up with such a pithy line; one that almost sums the destination up in a neat little bundle of humour and insight. What a stroke of good fortune for the travel writer – to get such a sage quote so unexpectedly.
Where are these taxi drivers?
Unfortunately, I have never met a taxi driver like this. In fact, 90% of the ones I have come across aren’t from the city I’m in, appear to have little more than a rudimentary knowledge of its streets and speak only tiny fragments of English. What am I doing wrong?
Making up quotes
Actually, I do know what I’m doing wrong. I’m not making up quotes from fictitious characters in order to put a bit of pep into my article. That’ll be the problem.
What do editors think?
And if I can see that 95% of all taxi driver quotes are blatantly fabricated, then chances are that most editors will think the same way. Seeing a taxi driver quote, therefore, is likely to raise a red flag and set the alarm bells ringing. If the writer has made that up, what else has he or she made up?
It doesn’t take a genius to work out where the train of thought goes from there – and it’s not good for any writer to get a reputation for passing off fiction as fact.