Three words, impeccably spoken

Phil Sayer died on April 13. You don’t know him. Unless you’ve been to London. Then you do.
Sort of.
Sayer was the voice of “mind the gap” on the London Underground.
If you’ve ridden the subways in London, or as the Brits say, the “tube,” you’ve heard Sayer’s three-word warning not to get your foot caught in the space, or gap, between the rail car and the platform.
You’ve heard it dozens of times.
“Mind the gap” is such a part of a visit to London that T-shirts and coffee mugs displaying the phrase are on sale everywhere.
I know about Sayer’s death because of my wife’s penchant for buying a New York Times every Sunday and reading just about every word of it throughout the week. She’s done this all her adult life.
She never misses the obituary page where one often finds odd but interesting accounts of lives such as Sayer’s. Next to the Sayer obituary in the April 17 issue was that of John Ferrone, an editor who worked on the book “The Color Purple” and edited the cookbooks of James Beard.
In the Sayer obit I learned of something called “Received Pronunciation,” or RP. That’s a version of British English, the version we Americans are most familiar with. It’s often called “posh” or “the Queen’s English,” but from what I’ve gleaned from a quick on-line study, that’s kind of correct and kind of not.
I did find an article that said Daniel Craig’s James Bond speaks in RP. Which gives us a frame of reference.
I also read that Helen Mirren, who has portrayed Queen Elizabeth in film, speaks RP, but “a more modern version of it.” Don’t know about you, but I can listen to her talk all day.
I’ve been trying to think of an American phrase as well known as “mind the gap.” I cannot. Unless it’s “you’ve got mail.” Certainly no RP there. Or good grammar.

Ed Ackerman