apostrophes & grocers

sagehen sagehen at SLIC.COM
Sun Aug 6 01:38:10 UTC 2000

The discussion of apostrophes has led me to rethink my lifelong asumption
that the little lawn signs --or similar postings-- that people put on their
property reading, e.g., "The Hill's" were establishing ownership, that is,
were irregularly (my polite evasion  of the objectionable
"illigitimate[ly]") -written possessives. They always made me think of the
Scottish usage  for the head of the clan, as in "The Campbell." Now I must
suppose they were really meant to convey the plural.

On the question of the American equivalent of "greengrocer," I associate
the word /market/ with produce, and I think that insofar as there were
separate establishments for fruits & vegs, they were called "vegetable
markets" and "fruit markets" and the proprietors were similarly,  fruit &
vegetable men.  There was a  "fruit and vegetable man" who drove an open,
canopy-covered, horse-drawn wagon into our neighborhood every few weeks in
summer during the 30's in Lincoln, Nebraska.

While the place where we shop is undoubtedly a "supermarket"-- selling
everything from motor oil to playing cards, as well as groceries, produce,
meat & fish, beer & soda -- we call it the "store," and what we buy there
are simply "grocs" (pronounced "grocks").
A. Murie

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