30 October 2017

Is there such a word? What do you think?

Back in 1977, Kelvin Donegan was our English teacher. With his blonde hair, fair skin, smart dress, sharp goatee and a motorcycle to boot – we, the fifth graders, were in awe of him.

When he said something, we listened. And remembered.

One day that year, one of my classmates (I forget who it was) had used the phrase “bus stoppage” in one of those “make sentence” exercises. “Bus stoppage” was (and I suspect still is) very commonly used in Bengal. Not sure of outside Bengal.

In any case, Sir Donegan had firmly told us that there was no such thing as “Bus Stoppage”. That is a made up word by Bengalis. Ever since, I got used to saying and writing “Bus Stop”.

While being driven to the airport a couple of days back, I noticed this sign along EM Bypass (these have been put up for the FIFA Under 17 World Cup being held in Kolkata).

I realized that “Bus Stoppage” is still alive and kicking in Bengal.

Just to be sure, quickly checked Google. Apparently, “stoppage” is a perfectly good word. But looks like “Bus Stoppage” may not be.

Any opinions out there?

Posted October 30, 2017 by Rajib Roy in category "Vacations


  1. By Niladri Datta on

    Some new words incorporated in Webster dictionary this year: Seussian, conlang, face plam and prosopagnosia. BUS STOPPAGE will also feature in coming times probably. Not to worry

    1. By Rajib Roy on

      I know the last two words but no clue about the first two. Also, very surprised that prosopagnosia was not there in the dictionary all these days. I am sure it was there in medical books….

    2. By Niladri Datta on

      Seussian’ (“of, relating to, or suggestive of the works of Dr. Seuss”) only after the book got refused by Liz Phipps Soeiro,is now in the dictionary, along with ‘conlang’ (“an invented language”), ‘face-palm’ (“to cover one’s face with the hand as an expression of embarrassment”),

  2. By Amrita Bhattacharyya on

    ‘Stoppage’, by itself, is a perfectly legit word. We use it all the time in our drafts to signify something that ceases at a future date- as in, “in the event of stoppage of work”. Just like your friend said somewhere in the above, the words ‘bus’ and ‘stoppage’ will be acceptable together if it signifies that the bus will be stopped ahead or later at a specified place for whatever reason – a check, maybe. It does not, however, necessarily mean a designated bus stop where people flag the bus down to board.

  3. By Sunny Sanyal on

    I think Bus Stoppage is a more accurate descriptor for what the specific location is about. Alternative would be “Bus Stops Here”. The phrase Bus Stop is either a noun or a command. If it was intended to be a noun then it’s acceptable. As a command verb it would seem to address the Bus not the location.

  4. By Sunny Sanyal on

    An American English teacher once told me that there is no such word as “Learnt” the correct word is “Learned”. I had always been taught the other way. “Learned person” vs Pas tense of Learn


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