Just what is the difference between ‘help’ and ‘assistance’? Can one be helped and not assisted? Can one be in need of assistance but not want any help? I ask because the guards have taken to offering not one, but both. This morning it was ‘And if I can be of any help or assistance …’ (emphasis most definitely on the or). And then again this evening: ‘I will be walking down the train if you need any help or assistance.’
If one of the guards ever does appear, as advertised, walking down the train, I shall ask them. Meanwhile, can one of you help? Or, indeed, assist?