Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 7 15:11:01 UTC 2009

On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 9:37 AM, David Bowie <db.list at pmpkn.net> wrote:

> I suppose i *could* use 7-Eleven as a generic, though as others have
> noted they're not quite as ubiquitous as they once were,[1,2] but the
> absence of the article doesn't really indicate generic use to me--"I'm
> going to 7-Eleven" seems as natural as, say, "I'm going to Sears" with a
> specific store in mind.


> [1] IIRC, there was a convenience store just off South Street in
> Philadelphia when i was there (mid- to late-90s) that played off the
> ubiquity of 7-Elevens--it was called either 6-Ten or 8-Twelve, i forget
> which, and had a strikingly 7-Eleven-looking logo.

I think it's still there, and called 6-Ten.

> [2] On the former ubiquity of 7-Elevens, i still remember an episode of
> the sitcom "Perfect Strangers" in which Balki was telling his cousin how
> backward the island he came from was. Apparently there were lots of
> sheep, but only one phone for the entire island, so Balki's cousin
> (quick internet search: Larry) asked if they had any traces of
> civilization. Balki's reply: "Well, we have a 7-Eleven." (I should be
> ashamed not just that i ever watched that show, but especially that i
> remember one of the lead character's names.)

Balki Bartokomous. Spelled B - A - R - tokomous.

m a m

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

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