Thursday, March 29, 2012

Let's go buy grocery!

It's perfectly normal for me to talk about the delicious stuff you buy at a bakery as "bakery."  As in, They sell the best bakery there!  Judging by Joe's reaction, this is not standard.  Just now I discovered it's not alone - here's a blurb about a place to buy food on campus:
Carson's Carryout will close for renovations at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30. Carson's will reopen in fall 2013. Until then, there will be expanded services at Common Grounds in lower Frank's starting on Sunday, April 8, and will include grocery, pizzas, sandwiches and more.
"Grocery" works for me too - less usual, but acceptable. Joe looked it up in DARE but they don't list it.  (They do list this use of "bakery," though - and note "chiefly German settlement areas.")

I've been trying to figure out what this is - it's use of the name of the source as the name of the goods bought there.  Not quite metonymy, I don't think, although I never really learned the fine points of all those poetic terms.

And it's definitely a mass noun.  I bought bakery at Lane's but not *I bought five bakeries at Lane's.  (The latter could only refer to a massive real estate deal.)

So what's the range of this?  Anybody have any idea?


Matthew Fisher said...

Hmm...this is a good question... I've never heard these usages myself, but "bakery" sounds more usual to me than "grocery." I don't know if there is a term for this other than plural omission, but I wish you the best of luck in your hunt for a fitting word!

senalishia said...

I've lived in Arizona and Utah and never heard this "bakery" usage, but there's a logical place in my brain where it could fit without sounding too odd.