User pnuts is on a giant editing bender today, changing the spelling of the word "busses" to "buses," and doing some small copy editing on old questions along the way. This has involved well over 100 questions at this point. Example edits:

1, 2, 3

I understand that "busses" is a less common spelling, but it's perfectly understandable, and everyone knows exactly what it means. I appreciate the significant dedication and effort you've put to the task, but it seems to be achieving very little practical purpose. Cluttering up the homepage to achieve a tag renaming can be a necessary part of improving our taxonomy, but hundreds of edits to impose a personal style criteria on buckets of old questions isn't really accomplishing anything.

So can we not do this, or at least discuss such actions on meta first?

  • 2
    Heh, I'm fairly sure at some point in the past I changed buses to busses! Turns out it's archaic, sigh. grammarist.com/spelling/buses-busses
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 23:36
  • 1
    Also to be fair, he's not just changing buses - he's often tidying the whole post at the same time.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 23:37
  • 1
    @pnuts Thank you. And I do appreciate your efforts and your tidying. Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 0:47
  • 4
    Merriam-Webster: "Is it 'Buses' or 'Busses'? The plural of bus is buses. A variant plural, busses, is also given in the dictionary, but has become so rare that it seems like an error to many people. Nevertheless, buses is problematic: it looks like fuses, but doesn’t rhyme with it... Confusing the issue is the word buss..." Basically, both are okay, let's leave it be :-) Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 17:11
  • A long time ago, @MarkMayo asked everybody to think up bus questions so that TSE would get a badge on the main site. So I propose that any tag disputes revert to the tag state AT THAT TIME.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 20:26
  • 1
    I am not a native speaker but "busses" makes me think of "blunderbusses" and not "buses".
    – user4188
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 8:44

1 Answer 1


tl;dr This stopped around the time the Q was asked.

There are presently four instances of busses on the main site at present, spread across three answers (which I am reluctant to edit).

Grammarist has this:

In 21st-century English, buses is the preferred plural of the noun bus. Busses appears occasionally, and dictionaries list it as a secondary spelling, but it’s been out of favor for over a century. This is true in all main varieties of English.

After bus emerged in the 19th century as an abbreviation of omnibus, buses and busses (the logical plural of buss, an early alternative spelling of bus) vied for dominance for several decades. By the early 20th century, though, buses was the clear winner, and it has steadily become more prevalent. Today, buses appears on the web about 15 times for every instance of busses.

TSE has a specific tag for Travel by city buses as well as long-distance buses, which also known as coaches. which, as usual, is pluralised as .

Consistency aids searching and reduces the possibilities for confusion, in particular for those whose first language is not English.

In addition to a slang meaning of to buss (for talking about) there is a valid, if somewhat archaic, meaning still current in dialect for to kiss, that is recognised by Google Translate.

Of the three examples given in this Q, two involved changes other than just busses to buses. I suspect all the other edits also involved more than just removing a redundant s.

How does one determine the “consensus view”? relates to discuss such actions on meta and the following to giant editing bender:

Is it okay to 'flood' the front page?

Excessive editing of old posts

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