The Gulf ‘S’

I wonder if grammarians have a term for the ubiquitous plural that gets added on to business names and signs in English here in the Gulf?
It’s actually quite logical, when you think about it –
‘Cars and air conditioners repairs’
‘Fruits and vegetables selling’
‘Hearts and arteries diseases’
…instead of
‘Car and air conditioner repair’
‘Fruit and vegetable sales’
You’re repairing more than one car and an air conditioner, selling fruits and vegetables and possibly getting diseases in your hearts and arteries, so a plural makes sense, even if it’s not idiomatic English. Ok, you only have one heart (unless you’re Doctor Who), but a group of patients means several hearts.
Dubai’s losing some of its more esoteric business names and descriptions as things become more sophisticated. My old rule still stands though – the longer the name, the smaller the business. Thus you have ‘Emaar’, a huge property developer and the ‘Mohammed Ali Bin Zulfan Bin Ali Coffee Shop’, a small window off the Al Wasl Rd through which tea gets shoved.
I also like the way the business’s name leaves you in no doubt as to what the company makes or the service it provides. Take ‘Ali bin Ali Foodstuff Selling’ or ‘Mohammed A. Concrete Block Factory’, for example. Noone rings them up by mistake to ask if they repair air conditioners. Even if they probably do as well.
An alternative naming approach is to take the words ‘luck’, ‘star’, ‘king’, ‘royal’ and a few other staples and mix them up to make your name. This gives you ‘Lucky Moon Capentries Making’, ‘Royal Star Tailors’ and other great combos.
First prize for the best name, as mentioned before in this blog, is still held by the ‘Brides of Nomadism Furniture Company’.


One Response to “The Gulf ‘S’”

  1. Magnus Says:

    Don’t forget "Gold" or "Golden" Something-Or-Another 😉

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