S-form

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The s-form[1] is the English language phenomenon of suffixing -'s or -s to business names where there is not one present in writing, predominantly in colloquial speech.[2] This is particularly common with the names of supermarkets. For example Tesco could be converted to Tesco's in speech, Safeway to Safeways, Wal-Mart to Wal-Mart's, etc.

Foreigners come across this form especially as concerns manufacturers; mere retailers like the above examples remain customers' and employees' conversation.[clarification needed] For example, the firm Short Brothers (of Belfast) built the aircraft called the Short Sunderland, but the firm is colloquially given as Shorts.

Causes[edit]

Possible causes for use of the s-form include a third-person verb ending, contraction of is, and pluralisation—but it is most likely that the s-form is an overgeneralisation of the possessive suffix common in business names.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Woodward, 2004, Ch. 1
  2. ^ Woodward, 2004, Ch. 5.1
  3. ^ Woodward, 2004, Ch. 2.1.1