English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Separate forum to permit easy exclusion when searching for serious information !
Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2990
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Bmblbzzz » 22 Jan 2019, 6:23pm

When you say "the conductor", I presume you're thinking of a tram with overhead electric power supply? Because the sort of conductor who sells tickets was absent from buses even in my childhood (1970s).

thirdcrank
Posts: 28685
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Jan 2019, 7:00pm

I'm using the word in the same sense as the regs I quoted

The Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) Regulations 1990

FWIW, we acquired / had dumped on us some bendy buses in Leeds only a few years ago (2010ish?) They had been in use in York where they were totally unsuitable and were only slightly less so in Leeds. To speed them up they had conductors - although the only ones I ever saw would have been called conductresses when most buses had a crew of two. They gave them an exotic job title - (hostesses?) - to make it all a bit more trendy but the destination boards said either "72 Leeds" or "72 Bradford."

And before anybody mentions it, I do know that bus inspectors are a rare breed these days. Perhaps London is different.

Canuk
Posts: 1105
Joined: 4 Oct 2016, 11:43pm

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Canuk » 22 Jan 2019, 7:17pm

'These premises are alarmed'.??

I know the feeling. Have you see my electric bill :shock:

Ray
Posts: 927
Joined: 27 Jan 2007, 11:10am
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Ray » 22 Jan 2019, 7:29pm

An interesting digression into public transport, but I'm not sure the queries re destination displays are really language issues. Confusing inaccuracies, maybe?

But busses, rather than buses? I guess you might argue that either might be acceptable, but for me, well, the double 's' "does my head in" :wink:
Ray
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt - Bertrand Russell

thirdcrank
Posts: 28685
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Jan 2019, 7:50pm

My copy of Modern English Usage (Fowler) ie the first edition has this special mention under -s-, -ss-
... it will suffice to say that: (1) The plural of bus is usually buses; this irregularity is explained by the fact that buses is still regarded as an abbreviation of the regular omnibuses; when that is forgotten (& bus is now more usual than 'bus), doubtless buses will become, as it should, busses. ...


If it didn't do Fowler's head in, it ought not to trouble us.

I suppose Fowler assumed that his readers all knew that omnibus was the dative plural of omnis meaning "for all."

===============================================================
PS For the sake of completeness (and to slip in that I have all four editions of Fowler) Gowers doesn't mention it and both Burchfield and Butterfield have this:

bus The form 'bus (with apostrophe) is now extinct. Inflected forms are: plural buses; ....


ie Fowler's prediction was wrong, or perhaps has not yet come to pass.

Ray
Posts: 927
Joined: 27 Jan 2007, 11:10am
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Ray » 22 Jan 2019, 8:19pm

My reaction was personal; far be it from me to insist that my preference should be taken as a rule. Busses somehow 'looks' wrong, just as 'alternate' rather than 'alternative' grates on me. At least there can be no misunderstanding with the double 's'; as the saying goes, they often come along in twos :D
Ray
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt - Bertrand Russell

thirdcrank
Posts: 28685
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Jan 2019, 9:04pm

A goose laid a very ordinary egg, but some joker painted it gold when she left the nest for a short time. The goose seeing this, refused to sit on the egg for she did not want to hatch a golden gosling. In the opinion of the Plymouth Rock hen the golden egg was a fake and only a simple goose egg painted over. But the rooster believed whole-heartedly in the golden goose which eventually would appear and was willing to sit on it. This he does until he clumsily steps on it and breaks it. Moral: It is wiser to be hendubious than cocksure.

Further Fables For Our Time
By James Thurber

Ray
Posts: 927
Joined: 27 Jan 2007, 11:10am
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Ray » 22 Jan 2019, 9:16pm

Thanks, tc, I like that. Haven't come across that story before. So (pedantry alert!), was it a rooster, and not a gander, that attempted to incubate the golden egg?

Perhaps someone will be along soon to suggest that wisdom and gender are somehow related ?
Ray
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt - Bertrand Russell

User avatar
Audax67
Posts: 4604
Joined: 25 Aug 2011, 9:02am
Location: Alsace, France
Contact:

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Audax67 » 23 Jan 2019, 3:51pm

Ray wrote:My reaction was personal; far be it from me to insist that my preference should be taken as a rule. Busses somehow 'looks' wrong, just as 'alternate' rather than 'alternative' grates on me. At least there can be no misunderstanding with the double 's'; as the saying goes, they often come along in twos :D


Buss exists,and means kiss. Chambers' has forgotten it, though.

Related expressions: buss-tickets, buss timetable, buss-fare, school buss, private buss, standing room only, there's another one behind, etc.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

Cours
Posts: 120
Joined: 20 Nov 2018, 4:16am

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Cours » 23 Jan 2019, 5:54pm

Football vs Soccer. I always think soccer sounds like something you should put your feet :shock:

Mistik-ka
Posts: 447
Joined: 5 Feb 2012, 10:01pm
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Mistik-ka » 24 Jan 2019, 4:43pm

Audax67 wrote:Buss exists,and means kiss. Chambers' has forgotten it, though.

Related expressions: buss-tickets, buss timetable, buss-fare, school buss, private buss, standing room only, there's another one behind, etc.

Unarguably an old-fashioned term, "to buss" is not yet extinct in North America. Extrapolating from thirdcrank's habitual erudition, I am inspired to propose the neologism "omnibuss" — a promiscuous show of affection to everyone in the room.

Ray
Posts: 927
Joined: 27 Jan 2007, 11:10am
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Ray » 24 Jan 2019, 4:47pm

I make good use of my bus pass. Where can I get a buss pass?
Ray
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt - Bertrand Russell

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 47507
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Mick F » 24 Jan 2019, 6:24pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

The noun BUS is pluralised by me as wot I thort it shud bee.
Bus pluralised is buses as per the dictionaries, but "buses" would be pronounced bue-sez

Plural of bus should be buzz-ezz as in busses.
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
661-Pete
Posts: 9252
Joined: 22 Nov 2012, 8:45pm
Location: Sussex

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby 661-Pete » 24 Jan 2019, 10:58pm

Maybe the word omnibus - and hence 'bus (with apostrophe) - has been consigned to history, but not so long ago as some have suggested. I distinctly remember when I was a child (1950s) seeing bus stops in Sussex carrying the wording OMNIBUSES STOP ON REQUEST.

But never "OMNIBUSSES". Even at that tender age I was a spelling pedant - I think I would have noticed...
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

thirdcrank
Posts: 28685
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Jan 2019, 11:03pm

The man on the Clapham Omnibus is alive and well, or so our learned friends would have us believe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_man_o ... am_omnibus