"store" 'restaurant'

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Apr 29 15:01:24 UTC 2009

At 7:21 AM -0700 4/29/09, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>yesterday i overheard staff of the local Gordon Biersch restaurant
>consulting about managing their website and referring to the three Bay
>Area restaurants (S.F., Palo Alto, San Jose) as "stores" throughout.
>later i asked the manager about this, and he said that was the way
>they referred to the locations in-house -- because, after all, they
>sold things.  i noted that people generally didn't refer to
>restaurants that way, and that there were other places that sold
>things but were not referred to as stores (in general, places that
>sell services are not referred to as stores).
>NOAD2 says "a retail establishment selling items to the public".  that
>excludes places that sell services, and also wholesalers, but there's
>still a fairly big gray area, turning on what counts as an "item".
>what about art galleries, sandwich shops, ... and restaurants?  (i see
>that NOAD2 treats delicatessens as a type of store.)
>has anyone experienced "store" referring to a restaurant?

Not me, and I also note that this doesn't appear to be a case of
blocking or pre-emption.  We don't normally refer to a knife as "a
weapon", as in "Chris stabbed Robin with a sharp weapon", if you know
it was a knife [or "a piece of silverware"], or to a chair as "a
piece of furniture" as in "I sat on a piece of furniture", ceteris
paribus, but in contexts like "15 weapons were seized by security"
[or "there are 18 pieces of silverware in the drawer"] or "there were
5 pieces of furniture in the room", that would include knives and
chairs respectively.  Similarly, we don't normally refer to a thumb
as a finger but a man with no fingers would (normally) be understood
as lacking thumbs too.  But a street with no stores may have
restaurants, and a block with three stores on it couldn't (for me)
have (just) a hardware store, a florist shop, and a diner. "Three
retail establishments" si, "three stores" no.  So this must really be
a different sense of "store".


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

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