Tag Archives: Jones New York

Penalty for possession

Long before the Word Nymph aired her first grievance, a friend had whispered a complaint into my sympathetic ear. She wondered what prompted those close to her, God-love-’em, to make the names of all restaurants and retailers possessive.

She observed that her mother, along with so many of our mothers’ generation, always adds an apostrophe + s to the name of just about every business in town.

Perhaps it’s because so many businesses used to be owned by individuals: Mario’s Pizza. Harry’s Bar. Bertha’s Mussels. (All right, not Bertha’s; that’s another story.)

Years ago, department store names, such as Woodward & Lothrop, The Hecht Company and R.H. Macy & Co. were shortened to such neighborly nicknames as Woodies, Hecht’s and Macy’s. The nicknames took hold, to no one’s objection. Eventually, these stores branded their possessives.

Now, however, businesses whose names were neither possessive to begin with nor shortened to nicknames are being made so by those who link every business to a person.

In this shopping season, let us be reminded to call our retailers by their correct names. It is Nordstrom, not Nordstrom’s. Lord & Taylor, not Lord & Taylor’s.

Far more egregious examples exist with regard to restaurants. It’s gone rampant. Let us not assume that every restaurant is named after a person. Restaurants take great care to give their establishments fitting and clever names, many of which don’t bear the moniker of the owner, founder or chef. Yet we can’t seem to help adding an apostrophe + s. Examples of these violations are too numerous to mention, many coming from within my own circle.

Maybe these complaints are nit-picky. Can we at least agree that, when the name of a business has a possessive built in, we should fight any urge to add an apostrophe + s?

Here’s an example. A Mexican restaurant near me is called Mi Rancho, Spanish for “My Ranch.” Is it not redundant to call it Mi Rancho’s? The same goes for any establishment beginning in Mon, Mes, Notre, Nuestro or any other possessive pronoun, as well as any beginning with Chez.

This also stands when the name of the restaurant is a noun; Panera, for example, meaning “Bakery.” In English, we would not say we are going to the bakery’s. Why, then, do we say we’re having lunch at Panera’s? Let’s not.

Sorry for the grumpies. I’ve suddenly become very hungry.

(But while we’re at it, it’s Williams-Sonoma, not Williams and Sonoma. Jones New York, not Jones of New York.)

When in doubt, take your cue from the sign:


Filed under All Things Wordish, Beauty and Fashion, Food, Marketing/Advertising/PR, Rants and Raves

Button Button

This might seem a little trivial, but I thought I’d get your thoughts, especially from readers who might be Internet savvy. Which I thought I was, until a recent phenomenon.

To make a long story longer, about three years ago I bought a black Anne Klein pant suit. It’s rare when I can buy a suit off the rack that fits me, needs no alterations, looks nice and travels well. This one met all the criteria so I snapped it up.

The first time I wore it, I lost one of the jacket’s three buttons, so I took the spare and had it sewn on. Shortly after that, I lost another button. I was working in a large conference center and had covered a lot of ground that day. Miraculously, after extensive searching, I found it in the press room. I had it sewn back on. I’ve since lost all three buttons at least twice each and, with the exception of that first one, I have always found them. I even tried sewing them back on myself, in an effort to make them stay on permanently.

Last week, I lost a button in Florida and never found it.

I went online and tried to find a supply of replacement buttons, and was able to contact someone through the Anne Klein website. I provided an e-mail address that I use only for Internet business.

Over the last eight days, I logged in 14 e-mails back and forth with the Anne Klein company and its parent, Jones New York, narrowing down manufacturing dates, style numbers and something called an RN number, to determine availability of said buttons. Everyone was responsive, and I’ve just received a message that my new buttons are on their way. But the dialogue has provided an interesting glimpse into how this exceedingly narrow slice of the industry does business.

There are two mysteries at work here. One is why buttons keep falling off my suit. The other is this: Since I began my search, everywhere I go on the Internet, an Anne Klein ad pops up. On Facebook, on Comcast, several others and just now, on a blog about words and phrases. That one ignited my curiosity. I presume my initial Google search and visit to the Anne Klein site led to this, but I really don’t know how it all works.  All I know is, in my online travels, Anne Klein is omnipresent.

Will I forever be stalked by Anne Klein and, of so, how can I use this to my advantage? Perhaps all she now knows about me will help me find another great suit in my size, preferably one with a jacket that zips or snaps.


Filed under Beauty and Fashion, Marketing/Advertising/PR, Technology and Social Media, Travel