What “THE?”

Our family has a speech impediment:  we add the article “the” to proper nouns, mostly supermarkets.  i.e ~  Wegman’s become The Wegman’s. The four of us never really noticed this habit until the children went out into the wider world and met folks who learned English as a second language.  To them it was obvious how “F.O.B -y,” as in “Fresh Off the Boat”  we sounded.  So lately I’ve become much more aware of the additional “the” I’ve been tossing around when I say I’m off to “the dry cleaner and then “THE Walgreens to pick up some cotton swabs.”

We also noticed a certain big box retailer seems to have some store signs that call it just “Home Depot” and others that proclaim it to be “THE Home Depot.” Same sentiment as: “There’s only one Jeep.”

Notice how using “the” before “dry cleaner” isn’t FOB-y, because the dry cleaner is a generic location, as it were.  I love my dry cleaner very much, but I’d have to look at my pick-up ticket to tell you the proper name of the establishment.  We’ve been to Disney World, and even though there are multiple Disney Worlds, most correctly assume I mean Orlando’s very own tourist mecca.  Yet, I have to add “the” to “boardwalk” if I’m going down the Shore. (And we all will be going back to the Shore, folks ~ Hurricane Sandy, be damned.)

Why do we do this?  Is it an annoying vestige of our progeny’s baby speech we found so endearing as new parents?  Or are we just lazy in the way many native English speakers are?


Good Omens

Today is feeling like a pretty good day.  Maybe it’s the natural order order of things post-Friday the 13th, but a couple of things I’d consider to be good omens have occurred:

1. I replaced my toothbrush on the same day as I opened a new tube of toothpaste.  I don’t know about you, but those last few pitiful squeezes you execute with the old tube are so challenging.  And there’s usually a collar of dried toothpaste with some lint up at the top that keeps that last dollop from plopping out into your brush.  You know, when you stop actively squeezing and the paste drops back into the tube?   You know it happens to all of us who don’t like to waste anything. But, Ahhhh!  The feeling of a new toothbrush is just the best!

2. The post-Easter clearance rack at Wegmans means half-price Peeps!!!  So I got me a pack of green ones.  I love these colorful and extra-sweet marshmallow chickees!  More so to look at than eat actually. Because I have to brush the sticky, sucrose-created bio-film off my teeth soon after eating them.

3. The weather is super nice out today and this weekend leads up to my favorite day on the township sanitation calendar: BULK PICK-UP DAY!!! Where you can leave ANYTHING on the curb and it will be whisked away!  As much as a dame like me loves a trip to the town dump, I like it much better when I only have to haul my garbage to the curb.  So the G-man will be dismantling an old treadmill in between sneezing fits and garage-purging.  Me?  I’ll be inside catching up on Words With Friends and old issues of Rolling Stone.

Oh, and this is my 51st post!  Thank you, my elite army of Nappers for hanging around!

An Army for Good!