Rothschilds in the NYT

One of the more minor differences between English English and American English

is the way that investment banks are referred to. The English have a weird habit

of pluralising everything: Goldman Sachs becomes Goldmans, Lehman Brothers is

Lehmans, NM Rothschild & Sons is Rothschilds. The habit is so ingrained

that the investment bank named after England’s Schroder family was actually

called Schroders before it was sold to Citigroup.

In any case, the pluralisation is something that all English financial journalists

eventually learn to lose when they move to New York, because "Goldmans"

just sounds weird to American ears. Which is why it’s weird to find

this in the New York Times today, from an American no less:

Rohatyn Associates, which had been loosely affiliated with Rothchilds, the

British investment bank, worked on several prominent mergers like SBC’s

acquisition of Cingular and later AT&T.

Or is Andrew Ross Sorkin, now an A-list blogger,

simply bringing a little bit of bloggish informality into the Grey Lady?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Rothschilds in the NYT

  1. Michele says:

    Although the form does not use an apostrophe, I’d always understood that to refer to Goldman Sachs as “Goldmans”, and so on, was to use the name in its possessive form – in the same way as Americans and Brits alike will say, “I’m at Sam’s”, meaning Sam’s house. This can hardly be termed a pluralisation. (Which, by the way, an American would surely spell with a z?)

  2. Robin says:

    Gawker, eh? Not bad, Salmon.

    Do you remember in ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ when Tom Cruise, supposedly reading the NY Post, sees the headline “_____ dead of drugs overdose”? Clear proof that it was, in fact, an English movie. I don’t think it has anything to do with the possessive (think “Goldmans leads M&A league tables”). Crazy Brits just talk funny.

  3. David Sucher says:

    In Seattle we speak of shopping at “Nordstrom’s” or working at “Boeing’s” both of which are technically incorrect but also extremely common.

  4. dsquared says:

    This can be made doubly difficult for visiting Yanks by the fact that really lairy British investment bankers will on occasion refer to investment banks by the name of the Stock Exchange member they took over. Thus Deutsche Bank is “Grenfells”, Merrill Lynch is “Smith New Court”, which is for some reason referred to as “The Brothers” and HSBC is “Capels”. UBS remains “Warburgs” to this day.

  5. Sigrid says:

    My grandson’s name is Felix

    What is genitive of Felix? Felix’s toys?

    How about many Felix-es?

    Thank you.


Comments are closed.