[Ads-l] "short-bus people"

Margaret Winters mewinters at WAYNE.EDU
Thu May 20 09:55:49 EDT 2021


Same background as Jonathan and same reaction - it's a new term to me.  Of course, there were no school busses to speak of at all - we walked.

best,
Margaret

----------------------------
MARGARET E WINTERS
Former Provost
Professor Emerita - French and Linguistics
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI  48202

mewinters at wayne.edu


________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2021 9:35 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: "short-bus people"

[EXTERNAL]

My school days were in the 1950s in NYC. Our public school had several
"special-needs children" (who were officially called something else at the
time). Never heard (or read) "short bus" till now.

JL

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 9:30 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
wrote:

> 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
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> 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."

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