"package store"

Gregory {Greg} Downing gd2 at IS2.NYU.EDU
Thu Aug 31 18:14:09 UTC 2000

At 01:01 PM 8/31/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>Frank Abate wrote:
>> I would call "package store" a pure regionalism, and reflective (as Lynne M
>> said) of Lieberman's CT origin.  He may not have realized he was using a
>> regionalism, as it is the natural and expected term in his dialect area.
>The region is apparently pretty large since "package store" is a normal
>term in Mississippi also.
>   --Natalie Maynor (maynor at ra.msstate.edu)

Exactly. Perhaps part of the problem is that once a term begins to be
employed, even quite ephemerally, in political environments, it immediately
becomes difficult for people to untangle actual usage from, on the other
hand, assertions about usage that may be felt to conduce to or damage a
favored political aim.

When two different terms exist in the same area for the same thing (both
"package store" and "liquor store" are quite famililar in NY and CT), users
often tend to create a distinction between the terms even where none
originally existed. I.e., users sometimes tend to assume that where two
terms exist there *must* be some distinction -- which they then proceed to
construct if it didn't in fact exist already. Just in the last week I have
heard people from the northeast (including CT) argue that the two terms
refer to two different things -- though I certainly don't know what the
putative distinction would be.

Greg Downing, at greg.downing at nyu.edu or gd2 at is2.nyu.edu

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