Theatre District Grammar Errors

On the way back home after taping the show today, I got off at Boylston to drop off my sister’s license. (It had been in my wallet since “Hogwarts Square” on Friday night, when I ran ahead to get our wristbands and thought I might need identification from both of us to pick up two wristbands. I hadn’t needed it. Thankfully, she hadn’t driven anywhere in the past few days!)

My sister goes to Emerson and lives in Chinatown (lucky girl!), and I was planning to slip it under her apartment door, but it turned out that she was actually right outside the Boylston stop, so we met up at Starbucks.

And yes, there was an error!

Location: Starbucks, Boylston and Tremont Streets, Boston, MA

The bottom line of the box on top reads, “Now available at Starbucks everywhere.”

First of all, it’s not a complete sentence, but that’s not my biggest problem.

Shouldn’t it be Starbuckses?

It would be fine if it hadn’t been for the word everywhere at the end. Using the word everywhere means that the noun should be plural.

–Now available at Burger King
–Now available at Burger King everywhere — yuck
–Now available at Burger Kings everywhere

Just because the noun has an S on the end in the singular form, it doesn’t mean it makes it okay not to pluralize it.

I’m a bit surprised, as Starbucks usually seems to be pretty conscientious about grammar.

I also think it’s time to invest in a white-out pen.

Location: Toppers, Tremont Street, Boston, MA

People just love Mens! This is my third sighting in Massachusetts alone!

It’s a bit tough to read, but the sign reads “Ladies & Mens Hats.”

Add a few apostrophes, please. Toppers has some pretty outrageous hats and I’ve always wanted to go in there just to try some on, but I would be a bit more inclined to do so if the sign advertised Ladies’ and Men’s Hats.


9 responses to “Theatre District Grammar Errors

  1. Nice post…..Excellent.

    My curiosity led me to read your Globe article. Again, wonderful.

    BUT I wonder about your use of “instinct” in the article. It’s on my list as Mr. Grammar/Word Cop.
    Here’s a slap on the wrist, Kate.

    I think you truly mean to use the word “intuition” in your Globe reference that follows (excerpted from the article):

    McCulley’s credentials? She’s an aspiring writer who majored in English in college and grew up loving to read and spell. Her reference book? “Most of what I go by is instinct,” she said, though she holds the “Associated Press Stylebook” close to her heart.


    Why is instinct wrong and intuition more correct.

    BECAUSE you are not born with language skills. You learn them gradually. Thus, any choices you make with language are not instinctual.

    The distinction is that an instinctual action is based on innate abilities and a predisposition to behavior.

  2. Starbucks is the devil. I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

  3. If they had written “Starbuckses,” they’d just sound like pretentious assholes. Manners before grammar.

  4. Agree with j-ho. “Starbuckses”? Please…

    Just as we usually don’t write “the Joneses’s” (i.e., belonging the Jones family), no one would say “Starbuckses”.

    By the way, would you also say “Starbucks’s”?

  5. I enjoyed your interview yesterday on NPR, which prompted me to check out your blog.
    I can’t resist a comment on your entry “Theatre District Grammar Errors”: You write: “Thankfully, she hadn’t driven anywhere in the past few days!” Who is “thankful,” your sister? Do you mean: “It wa fortunate that she hadn’t driven anywhere in the past few days?” I try to make my composition students aware of such dangling modifiers such as “thankfully,” “sadly,”
    “hopefully,” etc.
    Keep up the good work! Jim Wehner

  6. Actually, it should be Starbucks locations everywhere or Starbucks shops everywhere or something similar. You should never use a brand name as a noun, only as an adjective.

  7. I first read it as they were selling ladies as well as hats for ‘mens’.

  8. Now that I’ve thought about it, I think it should have said, “Now available at Starbucks LOCATIONS everywhere.” That would have been perfect.

  9. I don’t mean to point out any 800 pound moose in the room, but could “Starbucks” be plural by their own convention?

    Also, a brand name is a name of a noun.

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