Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Bottom Up?

July 22, 2008 |  9:20 pm

With 600 coffee shops closing across the country -- some to cries of caffeine-deprived protests -- I guess I shouldn't quibble about the details.

My colleague Sandy Banks wrote in The Times about one Starbucks closing near Martin Luther King Jr. and Vermont, and another at Crenshaw and Vernon. But it still didn't answer the question -- none of the stories of the shuttered shops has answered my question.

Is the plural of ''Starbucks'' also ''Starbucks,'' or is it "Starbuckses''? Like sheep and sheep, or moose and moose, rather than Jones and Joneses?

I say that I'm getting ''a Starbucks.'' A colleague asks, ''Can I get Starbucks for anybody?'' Michael Kinsley has written of ''Starbuckses,'' and so has the Associated Press.

Starbuck was the first mate in ''Moby-Dick,'' and there was only one of him. So maybe "Starbucks' is already plural. Now that I think of it, the ''Star'' part is incidental. As anybody who sets foot in the coffee establishment knows, it's all about the ''-bucks.''


Comments ()