9 Proper Nouns That Sound Better When You Add the Oh-So-Necessary, Very Unnecessary Extra 'S' on the End

Illustration for article titled 9 Proper Nouns That Sound Better When You Add the Oh-So-Necessary, Very Unnecessary Extra S on the End
Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock), Illustration: Panama Jackson (VSB (Shutterstock)

If you are Black in America, there’s a better than 50 percent chance (this is non-scientific, by the way) that you watched Monday night’s Verzuz featuring Brandy and Monica, two singers of significant renown with a sordid history that was very much on display (to me) during the Verzuz. At its peak, it topped out at 1.2 MILLION concurrent viewers. (I have no idea how many billions of people Swizz will probably say they actually impacted, but either way, it was an event.) Who you think won depends, pretty much, on who you thought was going to win going into it. Brandy has better, bigger songs; Monica has the jams. I think Monica won—I like jams.

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Anywho, that’s not why we’re here. We’re here because of a moment during the Verzuz that reminded me of something that I’ve been meaning to remind other folks about. After Monica played her song, “For You I Will,” she let us know that the song was from the “Space Jams” soundtrack. Except, the name of the movie was actually Space Jam, minus the last “s.” I obviously wasn’t the only person who noticed this; Lena Waithe commented on IG “You better add an S to Space Jam.” Waithe is well-versed in the ways of the Blackness.

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So here’s the thing: The name of the movie is Space Jam, but space, as a place, does jam. Space jams, ya dig? But also, adding an “s” to words where no “s” exists is a Black sport. I do not know if non-Black people do this. I also do not care. I have lots of degrees and letters behind my name and yet, my Blackness has superseded all of those things at times. Adding “s” to words is one of those supersedational places. So here is a list of persons, places or things (nouns, basically) that I automatically add an “s” to because it just feels better. I’m sure you have a list, in fact, I know you do. Sharing is caring and for you, I will. See what I did there? Lehgo. Here are 9.

1. Barnes & Noble

True story, I’m still in some disbelief that it’s NOT Barnes & Nobles because I worked out of one for years and I’d swear before God and three white men that at one point it was Nobles, not Noble. Even now I had to go to the website to check to make sure it is still just Noble. Yep, still just Noble. They should change it.

2. JCPenney

I blame my grandma for this. I’m not even sure which grandma to blame for this but at least one, maybe more, definitely called it JCPenneys.

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3. Kroger

Aight, this one is amazing because I ONLY looked this up because I was like, ‘I wonder if an “s” that belongs there; like, really belongs there.’ Turns out, it’s just Kroger. Wow. Just wow.

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4. Meijer

For my Michigan folks (probably Midwesterners; I’ve only been to Meijer in Michigan). My grandmother in Michigan definitely called this Meijers, which throws my whole “Black sport” statement into flux because she’s an old white woman from France.

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5. Montgomery Ward

I mean, come on.

6. Lord & Tariq

So this is a wild card because not only is there no “s” on the end of this one, the whole name is wrong. I mentioned this on Facebook because of the news that Lord & TAYLOR is closing its stores. For most of my young life, I thought the name of the store was Lord & Tariq, not Lord & Taylor, because I don’t read good and also because, well, it looked like Tariq to me. And Tariq, ALSO like Taylor, needs an “s” because it just sounds better.

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I hear you looking at me. Stop judging me.

7. Nordstrom

I was today years old when I realized it’s not actually Nordstroms. It should be though.

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8. Air Jordan

There are two of them on my feet usually; Jordans make more sense.

9. Marithe + Francois Girbaud

I actually ALSO thought there was an “s” on Girbaud until just now, which is kind of terrible considering the number of Girbaud shirts I’ve owned. Still, it also LOOKS better with an “s” on it.

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Yeah, so what you got?

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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DISCUSSION

ericawashington
Erica Washington

And stop correcting folks when they add that extra S on the end of a word. I know, you know, and they know they S doesn’t belong there; you being pedantic about the whole thing just makes you look like you need a stick pulled out of your behind.

Let people get their little internal chuckle. Goodness knows that probably need it.