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A proofreading reader

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by fossywriter8, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Active Member

    Got an interesting item in the mail today.
    A lady in town tore out a picture and cutline from a story and circled a few words. She took exception to the word “busses” and insisted “buses” is the correct word. She also suggested I (since it was my work) consult Webster (I assume she meant the dictionary, not the diminutive actor) for the word “buss.”
    She signed her missive “from an OLD proof reader.”
    Well, I did look up “buss” and found out it means “kiss,” which was nice to learn.
    However, I also double-checked the spelling of “busses” just to make sure I was correct. I was. Though “buses” is the more common usage and listed first, “busses” is also quite acceptable.
    It seems proofreading not only is what it used to be, it’s more.
    No, I haven’t sent her a response yet. We just received her letter this morning.
    I am, however, basking in the glory of being correct.
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Proofreaders are a dime a dozen. Invite the old lady in around deadline and tell her to get everything right or she'll be living in a box under the overpass.

    Seriously, though, just let the lady say her piece. (Corrected)
  3. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    Yep. Let it go. And if she calls, hang up.
  4. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Not to bust your balls -- not too much, anyway -- but you're correct only in the sense that the dictionary contains words that are outdated and/or commonly misused. You probably can find "irregardless" in there as well.

    "Buses" is the modern, proper and preferred plural form of the word "bus." There's even a listing in the AP Stylebook to this effect.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    1. The woman is absolutely correct, 'buses' is the preferred spelling. Busses are kisses (did you really just learn that fossy?)
    2. Stitch, it's say her 'piece'
    3. Why would you hang up on this woman if she was politely pointing out an error?
  6. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    um, as spnited said, the lady was correct so you might want to invest in an ap stylebook before basking in too much glory.
  7. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    The lessons from readers often stick more than those from your editors.

    I haven't mixed up "fewer" and "less" since a reader called and pointed out my misuse in a headline 15 years ago.
  8. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    As long as we're getting into Mr. Language Person territory, there's actually some debate over that idiom. Some linguistics and etymology experts say a good case can be made for "peace," in that "speaking one's peace" (piping up) is the opposite of "holding one's peace" (staying quiet, as in "forever hold your peace").

    So, it's really not quite so cut-and-dried ... but I agree that there's no ambiguity about "speaking one's piece," as in "stating your position" and moving on.
  9. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    The reader was right in this case.

    One of our elementary schools has "busses only" painted on a lane in its parking lot/driveway. I had to chuckle at that one.
  10. Azrael

    Azrael Active Member

    Ask her very politely if she'd like to come in 3 nights a week and proof pages.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Perhaps that's accurate and is meant to temper some of poindexter's lusty teachers.
  12. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    If she's living on copy editor wages she won't have any choice but to live in a box under the overpass.
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