The Nuances of Language


Store versus shop. It is a subtle language difference.  Or maybe it’s a cultural commentary.  I work with some lovely British co-workers in my English department (plus an Australian, a Canadian, and an American).  How would they fill in the blank to this statement:  “I need to buy some eggs.  I am going to the ___.”   My co-workers say ‘shop’ and I say ‘store’.  Aside from the elevator/lift difference, which is equal in my mind, store/shop makes a statement about American shopping habits.  I have no scientific proof or research study to back this up.  This is merely my own musings.

STORE–I think of a squirrel hoarding up for the winter.  He is stock-piling those nuts for the days when food will be scarce.  He will store it.  Off-site storage facilities for people have too much stuff in their home so they rent space elsewhere.  Sam’s Club/Costco/BJs–buying in bulk–you have to store it somewhere because there is so much.

SHOP–I think of a quaint little boutique.  The key work here is little.  Small.  Purchasing for immediate use.  To my knowledge, there are no warehouse shopping clubs in Europe. In America everything is big from extra large fries (or chips..haha) to McMansions.  Small spaces=less to buy, hence you must shop, not store.

There is a local supermarket (notice the word super in this compound word, as in, big) that imports a lot of Kirkland products.  On one hand, it is exciting to see favorite items from the Old Country.  On the other, where on earth will I put such a big package? Without decent cabinet space even a pantry, where will it go?

So, what are your shopping habits–storing or shopping?  Are you buying what you need, or are you stockpiling like the squirrel?  If you are storing, then you may be cluttering.  I could be wrong.  I could be right. Give it some thought.

Thanks for reading.

Karen, The Klutter Koach

May 13, 2016


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