[Ads-l] "short-bus people"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 20 09:30:26 EDT 2021


I vaguely remembered hearing about a short story that referred to a
short bus as a short dog. Eventually, my memory was coaxed into
revealing the name of the famous story which used "short dog" in the
title. A bibliography for James Still, the author of the tale,
indicated that the story was first published in 1951.

Short story title: A Ride on the Short Dog
Author: James Still
[Begin excerpt]
The vehicle was scarcely half the length of regular buses—The Short
Dog everybody called it.
[End excerpt]

http://faculty.csupueblo.edu/sandy.hudock/biblio.html
A James Still Bibliography
"A Ride on the Short Dog." Atlantic 188, no. 1 (July 1951):55-58.

Garson

On Wed, May 19, 2021 at 11:04 PM Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Pretty certain we had a short bus for special ed students in my small, rural hometown that dozens of regular sized busses coming in from the country in the 1960s.
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 6:53:00 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: Re: "short-bus people"
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "short-bus people"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> The 2006 edition of Partridge has "ride the short bus" with a first
> citation in 1995. Further below is a December 1994 citation.
>
> Year: 2006
> Book: The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English,
> Volume 2: J-Z,
> Editors: Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor,
> Publisher: Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group, New York.
> Entry: ride the short bus,
> Quote Page 1615
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> ride the short bus
> to be mentally deficient US
> From the literally short bus that special education students use in the US.
>
> Actually, I think our bass player, Frank [Cavanaugh], rode the short
> bus, but that was 'cause his mom drove it =E2=80=94 Baltimore sun, p. 8, 28=
> th
> September 1995
>
> =E2=80=94Chris Lewis, The Dictionary of Playground Slang p 184, 2003
> [End excerpt]
>
> Date: December 31, 1994
> Newspaper: The Leader-Post
> Newspaper Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
> Article: 'Tak a cup o' kindness for auld lang syne'
> Author: Ron Petrie
> Quote Page A3, Column 4
> Database: Newspapers.com
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> When you're a Scottish laddie on your first day of school and you ask
> permission go to the bathroom -- "Kin ye lit me oot? I mus' gae my wee
> nip a tinkle!" -- the teacher immediately brings in a speech
> pathologist. "Special" is what the pathologist calls you -- "Special
> Ronnie" -- but deep down you know that soon you'll be riding the short
> bus to school.
> [End excerpt]
>
> On Wed, May 19, 2021 at 8:31 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> w=
> rote:
> >
> > Live and learn. Thanks.
> >
> > I believe that was the practice even when I was in elementary school, but
> > I've never heard the term "short bus."
> >
> > JL
> >
> > On Wed, May 19, 2021 at 8:18 PM James Eric Lawson <jel at nventure.com> wrot=
> e:
> >
> > > Derived from the practice of using short(er) school buses to transport
> > > students with 'special needs'.
> > >
> > > On 5/19/21 3:55 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > > > What th' -- ?
> > > >
> > > >
> > > https://www.yahoo.com/news/qanon-shaman-lawyer-makes-offensive-21443590=
> 3.html
> > >
> > > --
> > > James Eric Lawson
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth=
> ."
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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