KMark & WalMark

A forum for discussing US dialects (accents).
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Postby goldeng » Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:25 am

A few people I've met, including one from North Dakota, always say Kmarts.

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Postby Perry » Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:08 pm

It is convenient to have all of these superstore discount houses to shop at, but I really miss the dime stores of my youth (in my case Kresge's).
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Postby Stargzer » Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:22 pm

When I was a kid we had a five and dime nearby, complete with the 5¢ and 10¢ logos on the sign (¢ = cent). My father used to complain it was a five and dime where the cheapest thing was a quarter. :) When that store went belly up I think it became a TV repair shop for a while; last time I looked it was a Hispanic cafe/restaurant.

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Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:38 pm

The problem, of course, is that in most English dialects there is no word "mart". When unfamiliar words appear in compounds or foreign words, speakers tend to convert them to familiar words. It is called "folk etymology" and it is how we got many English words like "craw(l)fish" from "crayfish" and "crayfish" itself from French "crevisse".

Perhaps a more interesting implication is that people pay no attention to the front of these stores when they enter them to shop, nor to the shopping bags they take home. This shift is usually based on similar sounds, not similar spellings.
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Re: KMark & WalMark

Postby sluggo » Tue Apr 25, 2006 12:19 am

jozziejane wrote:In Chattanooga, TN, there are a lot of people who use KMark instead of Kmart and Walmark instead of Walmart. This drives me nuts. Anyone else ever hear of such? :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:


In a related story, Fluffyans (Philadelphians), especially in the Northeast, put three syllables into the name of the supermarket chain Acme (AK- a- me). Not sure where this comes from.

Methinks these variations, rather than one's level of edumacation, may point to a particular person's "ear" or lack thereof, which is I think inborn. Those of us so blessed can just mimic what we hear the way we hear it, while others without such ability migrate to K-mark(s), ac-a-me, Mitsibushi, etc. without hearing the nuance in their own voice. Just a difference in the way we hear. Or so I've heard.
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