Shop/store
Posted: 02 October 2017 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Why does America almost always favour store over shop? Is it because in the very early days goods were bartered and sold from where they were stored? Or because early immigrant populations learning English latched on to store for some reason and it caught on? I’ve said department store and chainstore all my life (and Army & Navy Store if they still exist) and would now say superstore, but that’s it. Which do Canada and the antipodes use?

(Edit - I missed out Navy in Army & Navy Store)

[ Edited: 03 October 2017 08:24 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 02 October 2017 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Perhaps because shop, to most Americans implies a place where work is done to manufacture/repair/alter goods that may or may not also be sold there. For instance, I would never say “muffler store” - it would be “muffler shop” because although I am purchasing a muffler, the guy at the shop has welding(and possibly some creative work with flat sheet metal) to do before I can drive away with my new muffler. And the concept of goods sold from where they are stored is still true. There may now be a regional warehouse that stores a lot more of all those items, but the backroom(storeroom) of a Walmart or grocery store is packed with merchandise that will last until they need to order more. A store primarily just takes money for goods that are stored there.

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Posted: 02 October 2017 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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My earliest memories, which I no longer trust, around mid-1940s in remote rural US a ‘shop’ was a place where things were repaired like a ‘machine shop’ and a store was a place where things were purchased like a ‘grocery store’.

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Posted: 02 October 2017 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve never heard--and if I had, I can’t remember-- anyone say, “I’m going to the shop and buy some shoes.” In America shop is usually used as a verb, “I’m going to shop for tennis shoes.” or “I’m going to be shopping all day for new furniture.”

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Posted: 02 October 2017 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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On my first visit to North America I had with me a beautiful cashmere scarf, the gift of a generous aunt who worked at the Wool Shop at Heath Row. On the way out of Vancouver Airport I noticed that it was missing. I said to my brother: “I think I’ve left my muffler on the plane” — to which his reply was “Why do you travel with auto parts?”

From posts so far, I think that for rightpondians the word “shop” has a wider range of senses than it has for leftpondians ---- on the one hand the sense “workshop”, “machine shop”, etc., on the other, a place where one does one’s shopping; both senses equally acceptable and in use.  Why leftpondians should prefer to shop at a store, rather than at a shop, looks like just one more regional difference to me.  Am I right in assuming that “shopping” is still used on both sides of the pond, with the same implications in both cases?

Edit: I think logophile hs answered my last query

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Posted: 02 October 2017 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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One goes into a store to shop, but goes into a barber shop to get their hair cut. And one doesn’t store when they are in a store.

I think of shops as small and stores as large.

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Posted: 02 October 2017 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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It seems to me that in American usage a shop is necessarily fairly small, while a store can be large or small.  Also, “shop” is used more often generically than referring to a specific business.  So I might describe the standard strip mall arrangement as a large store at each end with a line of shops between them.  My town has a small business selling cigars.  I would be comfortable calling it either a cigar store or a cigar shop, but the supermarket were I buy groceries is definitely a grocery store, not a grocery shop. 

Just to confuse the issue, there is the “coffee shop” synonymous with “diner”: an inexpensive restaurant, often open 24 hours.  It sells coffee, but only the low end, and this is incidental to the business.  A small business selling high end coffee and fancy coffee drinks is a “coffee house.” At least this was the usage of my youth.  I’m not sure if it still holds.

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Posted: 02 October 2017 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I don’t disagree with those who write that store is more common than shop on this side of the puddle.  Yet I volunteer
at the Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop, a used book store if you prefer. It has been doing business with the shop name for fifty years, more or less.  Many decades ago I worked as an antiquarian bookman at a book shop—so named—in Baltimore.  Is the shop label as common for other types of merchandise, or is this a quirk?  I don’t know.

To Mr. Hershberger’s comment on the size of shops, we used to be in a rather small building, but recently moved to a much larger site, keeping the shop name.  The old shop held some 13,000 volumes, and the new one has ~25,000 as well as much larger isles, a conference table, etc.  It’s large and spacious.

[ Edited: 02 October 2017 05:27 PM by cuchuflete ]
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Posted: 03 October 2017 04:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Nothing here that hasn’t been said, but this is what the OED says about it:

In British English, shop usually refers to any building or part of a building where goods are sold, whereas in North America this kind of building is usually called a store (store n. 12), while shop more commonly refers to a place where things are done or made, or to a smaller retail establishment offering a limited range of goods. In British English store is usually a large retail complex, such as a department store.

Orin Hargraves’s Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions: Making Sense of Transatlantic English says:

The preference of Britons to say shop where Americans say store is widely known, though occasionally oversimplified. Both words are used in both dialects to designate retail establishments. Americans like shop for (1) small stores, (2) specialty stores, and (3) departments within larger stores that offer a particular line of merchandise. Store holds for just about everything else in American English. British English prefers shop for just about all retail establishments with street address, except very large ones: department store, originally an Americanism, denotes the same thing in both dialects.

As to why this is, that’s quite straightforward. This sense of store is an Americanism, dating to the early eighteenth century. It just began to be used over here, and the ocean separating the colonies from the mother country prevented “correction.”

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Posted: 03 October 2017 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Just last night I noticed “shop-bought” as an adjective in New Scientist, in the sense “not made by oneself, not ‘home-made’”.  In the US, that would definitely be “store-bought”, regardless of the size of the establishment that sold it. (E.g., it would be a “store-bought” cake even if you got it at a “bakery shop”.) Is it always “shop-bought” in the UK?

[ Edited: 03 October 2017 07:51 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 03 October 2017 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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when I lived in the UK, the term “shop-soiled” was applied to any newly purchased article in less than perfect condition. I don’t know if the term is still used. What is the corresponding word in the US?

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Posted: 03 October 2017 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I haven’t seen it often, but when I have it’s “shop-soiled”.  Also “shopworn”, which I’ve seen more often used figuratively than literally.

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Posted: 03 October 2017 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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On a side note shop meaning to betray is common in the UK, as in I shopped him to the police. Is this sense also current in the US?

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Posted: 04 October 2017 03:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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aldiboronti - 03 October 2017 06:48 PM

On a side note shop meaning to betray is common in the UK, as in I shopped him to the police. Is this sense also current in the US?

No, it’s not common over here. I would say it isn’t used at all, but I’ve heard it on occasion, although I can’t recall where. It was probably British movies and TV shows, but I can’t be sure.

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Posted: 04 October 2017 07:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I know it (only barely and vaguely) as a UK term.  Never heard it from a Yank.

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