Pity the headline copy writers, those big fish in tiny barrels. Just doing a final check of the good ol’ Houston Chronicle online before trundling off to power-read 300 pages of what I hope to be a most compelling read, and I see this:
Comedian gives his two cents on triple shot of Starbucks
After once making fun of Starbucks in Houston, Lewis Black used some colorful language when he found out there’s three shops on one corner.
I’ve heard journalists explain away inappropriate or inaccurate headlines, saying that someone else is in charge of the headline-writing, so I presume someone else is in charge of writing the teaser blurbs, too. (I wonder what term of art applies to teaser blurbs, but because I don’t know it, let me over-clarify by saying the blurbs are the little excerpts under headlines soliciting your click.)
NB: there’s is a contracted form of there is. You do not write, therefore, there’s three of anything. You might say it, and I will cringe and think less of you if you do, but I will not actually issue a citation for the spoken (mis)use of the third person singular of the verb to be.
There are now three Starbucks on the corner of Shepherd and West Gray, a fact so horrible on its face that we ought not add a grammar offense to the mix.
As I read this, I note a potential infraction of my own. What is the plural of Starbucks?
The rule suggests Starbuckses, but how pompous is that? Too pompous. A standalone shop, or counter within another business, dispensing the noxious brew, would technically be a Starbucks store. When you say there are three Starbucks on the corner, the word stores is implied.
You are off the hook from having to say Starbuckses, but welcome to do so as a rhetorical device or if you think it will really bug someone.
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