There is something curious going on in Blighty.  The British are obsessed with adding an 's' to the names of restaurants and shops

Yes, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Nando’s are already possessive.  But explain this:

Tesco = Tesco’s

Waitrose = Waitrose’s

Timpson = Timpson’s

John Lewis = John Lewis’s

Chiquito = Chiquito’s

Costa Coffee = Costa’s

Café Nero = Nero’s

And my favorite:  Yates’s

To be fair, unlike the rest of the examples where they are not possessive, Yates’s is the incorporated, official name of the company.  My theory is that they started it.

I researched the etymology of this possessive treatment.  From the websiteEnglish Language & Usage:   Sainsbury’s and Morrisons were owned by people- Mr. Sainsbury and Mr. Morrison.  Curiously, one chose to punctuate when trademarking their name and the other did not. 

I discovered that Tesco is a concatenation (love that word) of the initials of its early tea supplier (T.E. Stockwell) and the first two letters of its founder’s surname (Cohen).  It was never called Tesco’s, yet, the moniker sticks.

Curious, I also researched the word pluralism, which I realize is different from the possessive treatment of words.  Bear with me.  According to Merriam-Webster, pluralism is a situation in which people of different social classes, religions and races are together in a society but continue to have their different traditions and interests.   Per Wikipedia, it is the belief that there should be diverse and competing centres of power in society, so that there is a marketplace for ideas. 

While I appreciated we had different and competing interests, it didn't stop me from attempting a ‘gentle correction’ by pronouncing the other way.

Paula:  ‘Where did you pick up this great bottle of Wairau Cove Sauv Blanc?’

Friend:  ‘I got it at Tesco’s on offer, can you believe it?’

Paula:  ‘Wow, really?  Tesco?’

Friend:  ‘Yes, Tesco’s.’

My favourite wine...

My favourite wine...

I’m not sure if this oversight was deliberate but in addition to being a pluralist society, the British are masters of polite dissension.