Bus Woes

Aren’t buses annoying? First of all, there’s that plural. The usual phonetic rules call for a double “s” in the plural, and some people do indeed write “busses.” “Buses” is more common, yet for some reason I feel slightly wrong every time I write it. Then there’s the actual bus, which never comes on time because it’s waiting for a quorum. Passengers, that’s the real reason you see four buses pull up at the same time. Unless there’s a group of four, the bus-run can’t begin. Finally, there are the silly signs both inside and outside of the vehicles. For example:

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s worth noting that NYC city buses (except those on the airport route) don’t have luggage racks. But even if they did, are there people who need to be reminded not to climb the walls and sling a leg over a metal bar? Actually, scratch that question. This is NYC, so the answer is probably yes. I do wonder why “Luggage Rack” is capitalized. Normally, generic nouns are written in lower case. Perhaps adding capital letters makes the nonexistent item more real.

Moving on:

This one was on a tourist bus, so warning people not to slide the roof or throw packages is probably a good idea. People’s brains tend to hibernate when they’re on vacation. My favorite part of this sign is “frequencies.” I’d expect a singular there, because the time period between events varies, not the time periods. “Frequencies” makes me think of radio stations and, vaguely, astrophysics, which I can think about only vaguely because I have no actual knowledge of the subject. Also, why “approximately”? Isn’t that implied by “vary from 8 to 15 minutes”?

I used this photo in another post (http://www.grammarianinthecity.com/?p=2159) but I can’t resist repeating it because it’s such a good example of the “bizarre bus sign” genre:

 

 

 

 

 

 

DNA. Good to know. If you want to maintain your privacy, try not to shed any cells while riding. And if you wish to explore your genetic heritage, this bus is for you. Happy riding.

2 thoughts on “Bus Woes

  1. Ellie Presner

    Good grief! Re errant capitalization, I’ve noticed that many people (less well-schooled than us) seem to think that using caps as in Luggage Rack implies the Importance of the Words.

    At least your signs are in English. Count yourself lucky. Here in Montreal, which is quite a *bilingual* city, our mostly French powers-that-be (Quebec province) insist that most signs should be in French only. So when I see the big sign up behind the driver’s seat, saying (in French only) that “violence of any sort will not be tolerated,” I always add, to myself, “but for you English, violence is okay.” Insert eye roll.

    Reply

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