Sunday, June 05, 2005

Commercial kisses

Before I start posting in earnest, let me share this typo I saw before I started a hike in Colorado. (For once, I had my camera on hand.)




An easy mistake, I suppose, but it shouldn't make it onto a sign.

15 Comments:

At 6:11 PM, June 05, 2005, Blogger aparker54 said...

It's funny (daily passes!), but is it a typo? "Busses" is an acceptable plural for "bus" in the real world — unless, of course, the bus line's style manual decrees otherwise.

 
At 8:40 PM, June 05, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

Typo is probably the wrong word, but "buses" is certainly preferred to "busses."

If the signmakers could explain to me some reason they went with the double-s, I'd love to hear them out. Methinks it was ignorance or carelessness.

 
At 1:48 AM, June 06, 2005, Blogger Peter Fisk said...

It must be a Colorado thing. When I lived in Fort Collins, my favorite little coffee shop had a sign that said “Thank you for bussing your own table.” (Ew.)

… Now you’ve intensified my homesickness with your mention of Colorado hiking. Part of my soul still walks the rim of the Comanche (cq) Peak cirque.

 
At 8:56 AM, June 06, 2005, Anonymous Ron Davis said...

A few years ago our paper called out a local school district because of a "busses" sign; we suggested that educators, of all people, should know better. A district official fired off a letter pointing out that "busses" is just fine, according to the dictionary he cited (I don't recall which one). For us, it was a lost battle. To come back with "But our stylebook and dictionary say 'buses' is right" makes us sound like schoolmarms or, worse yet, snobs. A good editor would never use "busses," of course, but it's a good example that not everybody plays by our rules.

 
At 11:30 AM, June 06, 2005, Blogger Mel said...

You think that's bad? There's a billboard for South of the Border on 95 that says, "Buss'es welcome." *Shudder*

 
At 6:10 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

That's just us in South Carolina wanting to make sure the world understands both syll'ables are pronounced separately. :)

 
At 7:30 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger aparker54 said...

Here's my problem: Though I was born in 1954 (surprise!) and my mother had told me of the word "buss," I hadn't seen much of it before the AP Stylebook warned me (I first saw one in 1992) about distinguishing the plural of "bus" from that of "buss." And when I see "buses," I still hear "byooses." So I can't get all upset when signs follow an acceptable alternate plural for "bus." Does any respectable dictionary warn against "busses" for "buses"? M-W, AHD and New World seem to put "busses" in the second position without any tut-tutting.

Usage manuals such as Garner's GMAU, of course, are less liberal. But that's another ball game.

(Btw, the OED gives "buss" as an alternate singular spelling for "bus.")

 
At 5:39 AM, June 08, 2005, Blogger Peter Fisk said...

Good points, AParker. Another variable in the mix is the question of whether anyone under the age of 109 still uses the word buss anyway. If not, busses as a plural of bus is highly unlikely to cause any miscues, especially when it's used in context.

 
At 8:21 PM, June 08, 2005, Blogger Phillip Blanchard said...

Yes, it's highly unlikely that many would notice and/or care. But why give even 0.1 percent of your readers reason to pause?

 
At 11:36 PM, June 08, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

I'll tell you one person who notices and cares: me. Spell it "buses," like God intended.

 
At 11:52 PM, June 08, 2005, Blogger aparker54 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:26 AM, June 09, 2005, Blogger Peter Fisk said...

I expect that the counterintuitive plural buses (rhymes with fuses?) and its kindred inflected verb forms cause more readers to pause than busses, bussed, bussing would. This is another style rule that may be ready for the shibboleth heap before long.

 
At 9:42 AM, June 11, 2005, Blogger Paul said...

Ancient folks like myself can remember the 1970s spelling debate about busing and bussing in regards to African American school students.

 
At 1:36 PM, June 11, 2005, Blogger aparker54 said...

Any links, Paul? Or further details?

 
At 8:21 AM, May 14, 2008, Blogger maswey said...

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