Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bus To Bus

There used to be a "SubTalk" subway ad (an internal-promotions tool for the MTA) about bus-to-subway transfers, one sentence in which read: "You can transfer from subway to subway, subway to bus or bus to bus." The type was laid out so that the final line of the ad read like this:

bus or bus to bus.

I always thought that was really weird and discomfiting, and I used to look at that line of type and say "bus or bus to bus" to myself -- and also "to bus or bus to bus," using enjambment from the previous line. This was already a few years ago, but I am still fascinated by the way those words look together -- the existential Hamlet echo and the absurdity of the context. It is still important to me, and I think that its still being important is also important.

The inclusion of a comma before the word "or" -- the serial comma or "Oxford comma," a grammar convention that I usually uphold, though it is never strictly necessary -- would have made the whole thing totally insignificant.


Ranger said...

Can "bus or bus to bus" be the name of our first album? You know, the one our fictional band is going to record.

Amanda said...

Yes, it can. I will get to work writing something about our fictional band now.