[Ads-l] "short-bus people"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 20 12:28:02 EDT 2021


Good job Bill, Dave, and everyone. Here is a Usenet citation from
December 1992 for the phrase "Rides to school on a short bus".

Usenet Group: rec.humor
Poster: Frank Reid
Time-stamp: Dec 16, 1992, 5:14:10 PM
https://groups.google.com/g/rec.humor/c/b0tBYPAOphY/m/pJTL63QnkD0J

[Begin excerpt]
THE LAST FULL-DECK LIST
[started a few years ago by someone else, updated by me.]

A bad spot on the disk.
A bun short of a dozen.
A couple of open splices.
A couple of volts below threshold
A couple of revisions behind.
A cup and saucer short of a full place setting.
. . .
Rides to school on a short bus.
Running on empty.
Runs squares around the competition.
Sailboat fuel for brains.
[End excerpt]

Garson

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 10:43 AM Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> We walked too - or took the city bus. As a result our few school buses were
> all small (now that I think of it), about like a modern SUV. But I'd never
> think of calling them "short" (too weird).
>
> JL
>
> On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 10:04 AM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>
> > I wonder if this “short dog” for ‘short bus’ is related to “riding the
> > dog” for taking the Greyhound (or by extension another long-distance bus.
> > I wonder how old that is; I looked for “dog” = ‘(Greyhound) bus’ in Jon’s
> > extensive (three-page) entry for “dog”, which has lemmas for everything
> > from penises and D grades and of course homely or lazy people, to worthless
> > horses and venereal diseases, but didn’t see any relevant glosses, but I
> > might have missed the bus.
> >
> > As far as my own familiarity—like Jon, elementary school in NYC in the
> > ‘50s and no familiarity with the expression until I read reviews of the
> > aforementioned movie “Shortbus” came out that explained the reference.
> >
> > LH
> >
> >
> > > On 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
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > 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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