You Must Remember This: A Bus Is Not A Buss



As I approach the school parking lot, I see the sign: “No Busses.” Guess the administrators don’t want Mom kissing Johnny goodbye when she drops him off in the morning. And after Mom drives away, they don’t want Johnny sneaking a peck with Jenny.

Assuming the sign refers to those large yellow vehicles that transport students to and from school, the sign should read “No Buses.” To make bus plural, we add -es: The buses are running late. Buss means kiss. We make it plural by adding -es, too: Johnny loves Jenny’s busses.

Many dictionaries offer busses as an alternate plural of bus, but I think we should maintain the distinction. Consider this sentence: Busses on buses are an education in themselves. Without the different spellings, the writer’s meaning wouldn’t be clear.

Sometimes the way a word looks doesn’t match up with how it sounds. Buses rhymes with fusses and cusses, not fuses. Doesn’t it follow that busses would be the plural? Not so.

While we want the English language to conform to predictable rules, sometimes we just have to kiss logic goodbye.

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