An escalator is a motorized stairway that moves people up and down flights. When you get on an escalator, you can stand still and let it carry you. If you want to really annoy the people behind you, stand to the left on the escalator and block their passage.
It's common for shopping malls, airports, and other large, public buildings to provide escalators as a way for people to get from one floor to another. An escalator works by moving a large belt of linked steps with a motor — each step seems to disappear as it moves parallel with the floor at your destination. In 1900, the Otis Elevator Company coined the word escalator, from escalade, "use ladders to scale a wall."
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