Thursday, October 25, 2007


There is, of course, no one named "Spago." Well, perhaps somewhere in the world there is, but the titular chain of over-priced under-proportioned celebrity-festooned restaurants is not owned by one.

Wolfgang Puck, as you should know, is the creator, owner and operator of the chain. And just for clarification, the chain's name is not actually "Spago's." No, it is "Spago," meaning "twine," and from which we get the word "Spaghetti, " or "little strings..."

Unfortunately, there are many who insist, beyond all curative attempts at correction, to stick a possessive "S" at the end, as if it were owned and operated by Mr. Italian Twine himself.


No possessive "S."

But it does not stop there. No, frequently, I hear friendly folks announce their intention to go shopping someplace called "Nordstrom's." Sounds like a nice place. I suppose they might have nice things. Sadly, as far as I've seen, there is no such place as "Nordstom's." Now, two blocks from my office, there is a very large red-brick retail building with a sign outside that reads: "Nordstrom." However, I am quite certain there is no "S" attached to the end.

And while they still existed, you could buy a tie, or an entire set of bed linens, at the Meier & Frank just down the street. However, you could not possibly buy anything at any place called: "Meier & Frank's"

And for your one-stop-shopping needs (groceries, garden supplies, and a gallon of paint) in the Northwest, where do you go??

That's right, you go to Fred Meyer.

Where don't you go? "Fred Meyer's" There's just no such place.

And for pumpkins, this time of year, there is no better place in all the state of Oregon than the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island.

Sauvie. Pronounced: "So-vee." While it has farms and hay rides and general stores and even a nude Columbia River beach, it does not have a possessive "S."

And after all of this running around, pumpkin picking and linen shopping, where might you want to go for dinner? Well, if you are over in Beaverton, there is a fabulous little Indian place called "Swagat." If you go looking for "Swagat's," however, you are not likely to find it.


  1. Great observation. I have also noticed that some Asian cultures will leave the "S" off when it should be there. For wife goes to have her nails done at a place called Happy Nails. When you call them, they answer the phone "Happy nail, may I help you?" It applies to Doughnut shops as well.

  2. And yet, Albertsons (founded by Joe Albertson) really should be Albertson's, but somewhere along the line they dropped the apostrophe.

  3. Oosje8:49 AM

    Good one, Mr. G&T.

  4. Anonymous9:55 AM

    Who pissed in your cornflakes? (plural "S," not possesive) And, BTW, there's also a Swagat on NW about Lovejoy, I think.

  5. Both BS and Fred make excellent points.

    As does Oosje...

  6. Haha-- love it! The added "s" (apostrophe or not) tops my list of grammar pet peeves!

  7. Mrs.G4:41 PM

    If you need a gallon of milk in Oosje's hometown, it can be found, inexplicably, at Atkinsons', owned by the Atkinson family. Maybe they stole Joe's apostrophe.

    Is anyone else now singing "It's Joe Albertson's supermarket, but the meat department is mine"?

  8. I could care less about your hyper sensitive grammatical pet peeves.


Be compelling.

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