Oh, Lingo!

Call me anal, but I have problem with businesses telling people that some things are pre-owned when they actually mean previously owned or, to put it simply, used. Pre-owned is SO not used! Pre-owned would mean the exact opposite of used: new. Why? Because the prefix pre- means earlier; before; prior to; preparatory; preliminary; in advance. So pre-owned would mean prior to being owned, i.e. new.

I wouldn’t even go into what I like to call the Great Canadian Aversion to Apostrophe in Business Names. Tim Hortons is supposed to be Tim Horton’s, Sobeys is supposed to be Sobey’s, and the list goes on and on. But I’ll just save the rant for some other slow blogging day.

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. About the lack of ’s in buisness names, I may have an explaination. Here in Québec, most people speek french and many don’t understand English. A lot of anglophone Canadian buisness are present here (Tim Hortons and Sobeys are), but many people wouldn’t understand what the ’s in the name is for. From a francophone perspective the ’s is just a weird thing after the name we don’t know how to pronounce.
    My guess is that buisnesses don’t want to look too much like strangers to Quebeckers, so they remove the apostrophe in their name. Now, in an ideal world, they would probably keep the apostrophe on the english side of their documents and panels, but this would probably increase costs and complexity.
    That is just my theory. Maybe there are other reasons.

  2. Actually, there are no appostrophe’s on business names in Quebec because the apostrophe is Enlglish, and Quebec has a language law that prohibits english language on any signs. Nice, eh? Any other province and that would racist, but Quebec is allowed to make up their own rules, as long as it’s for the French.

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