One s or two?

On an early morning walk in Kununurra last week we spotted this sign and were highly amused:

Especially because it was outside a school.

Then we began to wonder if the sign was right and we were wrong – should there be one s or two in the middle of the plural of bus?

Is it buses or busses?

My spelling, like that of Pohh Bear’s friend Wol, can be wobbly but I was reasonably sure that buses looked right and busses didn’t unless it was a verb. My farmer who spells well and the friends who were with us thought so too.

I was all set to post this photo with the caption sign of the times and ask what’s the world coming to when school signs are spelled incorrectly.

Then I checked the Concise Oxford Dictionary and found: Bus n (pl*-ss), read further and became more confused because the entry read  . . . for use by buses.

I then checked what the asterisk meant and discovered it denotes spelling chiefly used in the U.S.  (often also Canadian, Australian, etc.).

I think that means the sign was right in Australia but as the four of us are New Zealanders we were right to think it looked wrong.

Further down the road we came across another sign and were on much firmer ground when we laughed at the spelling:

4 Responses to One s or two?

  1. I once took a photo (have spent too much time trying to find it!!) warning of FLODDING

  2. Flodding is a dreadful thing to have happen to you, especuially if you are carrying crystal glasses and can’t walk backwards.

  3. (spelling error inserted in keeping with the post’s theme)

  4. Alan says:

    Busses would of course be another word for two or more kisses.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/buss

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