Okay, I’m not the best writer around when it comes to spelling and grammar. Too often, my fingers move too fast for my thoughts and I miss errors. But since my day job is being managing editor of a magazine, the mistakes I see around the Web jump right out at me.
So as a public service, I will occasionally offer a quick tip regarding common English spelling, grammar, and usage errors. Now, I’m not “Nihil Obstat” so I won’t name names or otherwise hold up individuals for ridicule. It’s way too easy to be hoist by one’s own petard in that respect. And I claim no special skill. My own English grammar teachers from 1st grade through college would have a collective laughing fit if I proposed myself as some kind of expert. But muddled writing can cause muddled comprehension and it does no service to the Truth to transmit it with a lack of clarity.
The first tip concerns something I just read in an email. The plural of “bus” (as in large mass transportation vehicle”) is “buses”, not “busses”. The latter is the plural form of “buss” which means “a kiss”. This is a very common mistake. Right here in Salem, Mass., there is a very amusing street sign put up by the city that says “No Busses”. I can’t wait for someone to get a ticket for kissing their sweetie, standing next to the sign.
(One thing you won’t see from me is advice about the use of commas. I am completely befuddled by some of the rules for commas, and, sometimes, I, just, throw, them, in, everywhere or omit them completely.)