It's probably safe to assume that if you're reading this, you don't erroneously tack an 'S' onto the ends of words -- well, unless one of your friends passive-aggressively shared this on your Facebook wall.

But why have some Michiganders developed this habit?

First, here are some examples of business names that seem to get butchered regularly:

It's not only a Michigan thing. Residents of Ohio, New York, Missouri, and West Virginia have a tendency to add a possessive 'S' to certain words. University of Michigan English professor Ann Curzan says the practice can be traced back to the early days of the auto industry.

“The website says this goes back to Ford’s,” Curzan tells Michigan Radio. "People in Michigan referred to the Ford Motor Company as “Ford’s Factory,” since it was owned by Henry Ford.


Curzan says people have referred to JCPenney as "Penney's" for decades, noting the practice can be traced back to the 1940s.

Using the possessive 'S' (sometimes erroneously) has been encouraged, since companies like McDonald's, Macy's, and Wendy's have all incorporated it into their official names.

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