Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 6 20:15:32 UTC 2009

Is there any evidence that he meant it to mean generic 'convenience store'?
This looks to me like an everyday metonymy using a typical example to stand
for an entire class of referents. What if he'd said "... until 3:00, when
they walk out of school and around the corner and pick up a Hershey bar"?
Would that make "Hershey bar" mean 'generic high-calorie snack food'?

The absence of an article is a different question, but still not unusual,
7-Eleven being enough of an institution, and ubiquitous enough, that it
doesn't matter which one: they're everywhere, and they're all the same.

Mark Mandel

On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 2:40 PM, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:

> The most recent _Newsweek_ contains an article "Stealth Health for Kids";
> quoting "behavioral economist" David Just of Cornell U:  "Removing food
> choices is a good solution until they [school children] graduate or until
> they go to 7-Eleven on Saturdays" (p. 46).
> I was unfamiliar with "7-Eleven" being used generically and abstractly
> (without "the" or "a" or a pluralizing "-s") for 'convenience store'.  Is
> that usage common somewhere?  (The phrase "go to 7-Eleven" gets a couple of
> thousand Google hits.)
> --Charlie

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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