Wal-marts and Krogers and Farmer Jacks

And Home Depots. And sometimes, even “Fords.”

I’ve heard this discussion before, and that it’s a Michigan thing, so maybe I’m beating a dead horse here, but: what’s with adding the “s” at the end of store/company names? I can’t tease too much, considering my parents often say they are going to “Krogers.” Someone explained it as people seem to refer to these stores like they might refer to a friend’s house — “I’m going over to Farmer Jack’s” is like saying, “I’m going over to Bob’s.”

I’ve become so conscious of it that it’s difficult not to laugh when people add the “s.” I try so hard not to say it that I’ve started taking the “s” off words that really need it. I might say, “I’m going to the Tiger game” or “Let’s go to T.G.I.Friday…s.” Unfortunately, a few days ago, I found myself referring to CBGB as CBGB’s. I guess there’s no fighting it.

5 Comments so far

  1. Jeff Widen (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 5:12 am

    My personal angst comes from people – adults, little kids, using “Look-it” and “AccrossT”

    If ever I am in a game of scrabble, and I see one of the other players try to sneak one of those in, I’m going to start using Yiddish words.

  2. Jeremy (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 12:15 pm

    The “Ford’s” thing started back when Henry Ford was still kickin’ it, and everyone worked at “Ford’s’ place. As far as I know, that is a uniquely Detroit thing.

  3. Karen (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 11:43 pm

    I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life and have never heard anyone say Walmarts or Kmarts. The only time I’ve heard the possessives used is when the company name is also a family or first name – Ford’s, Stroh’s, Hudson’s, Cunningham’s, Walgreen’s, Kresge’s, Kroger’s, Penney’s, Meijer’s, Farmer Jack’s, (Montgomery) Ward’s, etc. – but not for all instances (never Firestone’s, Goodyear’s, Buick’s, Dodge’s, etc.)

    Don’t New Yorkers say Macy’s, just as Chicagoans said Field’s, Minnesotans said Dayton’s?

  4. Stacey (unregistered) on October 6th, 2005 @ 12:03 am

    But most of the companies you mentioned — Stroh’s, Hudson’s, Walgreens, Kresge’s, Macy’s, Marshall Field’s, Dayton’s — really have the s at the end. Meijer, Kroger, Farmer Jack, Kmart, Wal-Mart do not, but many people tack it on anyway. I hear it all the time.

    Anyway, it looks like you were right, Jeremy (scroll down). I just didn’t know the “Ford’s” thing had spread to so many other stores/companies.

  5. MGal (unregistered) on October 6th, 2005 @ 5:53 am

    I don’t know why we do that. I know I am guilty.

    Heck, we used to call Montgomery Wards – Monkey Wards.

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