According to Michael Grynbaum, "When Passengers Spit, Bus Drivers Take Months Off", NYT 5/24/2010:
It could be the cutbacks to the city’s transportation system, or a general decline in urban civility. Perhaps people are just in a collective bad mood.
What else could explain why New Yorkers — notoriously hardened to the slings and arrows of everyday life here — are spitting on bus drivers?
Of all the assaults that prompted a bus operator to take paid leave in 2009, a third of them, 51 in total, “involved a spat upon,” according to statistics the Metropolitan Transportation Authority released on Monday.
That apparent use of "spat upon" as a noun wasn't a mistake, as confirmed by another example later in the same article:
Almost no arrests have been reported for spitting on a driver, said Mr. Smith, who noted that a police officer “must witness the spat upon to give a summons.”
Read the rest of this entry »