Found Friday is On the List

It always saddens me to find lists with nothing crossed off. As I greedily snatch such lists up off the sidewalk, I think to myself "Poor list maker! So many unaccomplished items! A life in chaos!"

This week, two such to-do lists have made it onto the blog. The first, known around the office as Blue Doozy, refers to such things as "pet smarts" (item six) and "gas" (item eight). Does one acquire pet smarts for one's slightly dopey pet? And what does indigestion have to do with it?

These are the questions the research team here at Found Friday feels compelled to ask. (Click to enlarge.)

The second uncompleted list is a two-pager beginning with a real list-topper: "Wine Night." There are many other textual curiosities that may lead to listual intrigue, but I direct your attention specifically to the items on the middle of page two. (Scroll down; all are clickable for those in want of larger versions.) Though it's a bit difficult to make out the script, you will note that the term "sex" is mentioned four times.


  1. I used to work in the Writers' Workshop's FAR satellite location. Never saw any wine, never saw any sex. Damn.

  2. Just realized--it was PAR where I worked. No wonder. Bunch of teetotalers and abstainers over there.

  3. Anonymous2:08 PM

    your speculation about "pet smarts" is pretty clearly for the purpose of our amusement . . . but just thought i'd point out the addition of the 's' to PetSmart as an example a somewhat common tendency to pluralize or possessive-ize store names. this drives a friend mine nuts -- e.g., when people refer to JCPenney as JCPenney's/JCPenneys.


  4. Anonymous2:25 PM

    When James C. Penney opened his first store in Wyoming in 1902, people knew him by name and referred to the story with the possessive form of his name: Penney's, although the store was originally called the Golden Rule--whose implicit message was a welcome change of pace to people on the frontier who were suspicious of all merchants from experience. Hence the stiff competition Penney soon raised against Sears Roebuck.

    Particularly in the Rockies (where my family happens to be from), but also in other parts of the country, this possessive usage persists although the company Penney founded now uses the nonpossessive form of his name. It is thus not entirely incorrect to refer to a J.C. Penney store as "Penney's" or "J.C. Penney's"; it is merely anachronistic.

    This use of the possessive is pretty widespread in store names, though, especially for stores that began as someone's last name + product type, e.g. "Nordstrom's Shoes," "Fran's Chocolates," etc. I think that it's entirely likely that "PetSmart's" is indeed something many people would say.

    Many store names formally include the possessive, too, e.g. "Macy's," "Mervyns" (no apostrophe but named after founder Mervin Morris), "Domino's [Pizza]," etc.

    I like anachronistic store-naming. Like how many Northwesterners still refer to Macy's as "The Bon"--including me.


  5. Anonymous2:29 PM

    You might also send your friend the link to this "language anger" management course online to deal with apostrophe-s rage. It's helped thousands. Also, daily reading of "Language Log" is helpful to manage the chronic condition. :-)


  6. You guys are funnnny!

    I am shopping at Targets, KMarts, and PetSmarts today, just for fun.