[Ads-l] "short-bus people"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu May 20 18:32:24 EDT 2021


As for "short dog," the expression appears to predate Greyhound busses.

There are numerous references to train routes rederred to as "short dogs" in the early 1900s.

The usage is not always consistent, sometimes referring to a particular route, sometimes to any short route, and sometimes to a style of train car used on local routes.

In this example, they are discussing locomotive engineer pay on short routes or specials.

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/78049323/the-tennessean/
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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2021 6:30:26 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: "short-bus people"

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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=E2=80=94The 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, ru=
ral 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 ADSG=
arson 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 U=
S.
>
> Actually, I think our bass player, Frank [Cavanaugh], rode the short
> bus, but that was 'cause his mom drove it =3DE2=3D80=3D94 Baltimore sun, =
p. 8, 28=3D
> th
> September 1995
>
> =3DE2=3D80=3D94Chris Lewis, The Dictionary of Playground Slang p 184, 200=
3
> [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=3D
> rote:
> >
> > Live and learn. Thanks.
> >
> > I believe that was the practice even when I was in elementary school, b=
ut
> > 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> wr=
ot=3D
> e:
> >
> > > Derived from the practice of using short(er) school buses to transpor=
t
> > > 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-214435=
90=3D
> 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 tru=
th=3D
> ."
> >
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>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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