Whopper Juniors?

I’m wondering what you think would be the correct way to make Whopper Junior plural: Is it Whoppers Junior or Whopper Juniors? I have been told that it should follow the pattern of attorneys general, courts martial and passersby, since junior is technically an adjective, and only nouns are pluralized in English; however, I think that since junior is part of the name of the product, it should be thought of as a noun in this case-- sort of like its last name… hence, Whopper Juniors. What do you think?

Here’s William Safire’s take on it (according to The Onion).

Have you considered just eating all but one of them? Problem solved.

I tend to agree with you (“Whopper Juniors”), treating the whole name as a noun, but I’d probably say “Junior Whoppers” instead, just to get around the whole issue.

I suspect this is going to be just a style issue, and whatever you choose will be fine as long as you’re consistent. Even with the “Attorney/s General/s”, there doesn’t seem to be widespread agreement. Google searches show only a slight (12:10) preference for “Attorneys General,” and there are “real” sources high in both lists.

How about “Whopper Junior hamburgers”? (Although I, personally, would probably say “Whopper Juniors” just because I’m contrary.)

It used to be the case that formal writing called for attorneys general and similar constructs.

However, the trend has been swinging away from the formal for many years.

The older phrases should still be written formally because that corresponds to much written history and because so many people would be upset by a change.

But an informal advertising construct like Whopper Junior doesn’t need any formality added to it, and would look bad if you did. I’d* go for Whopper Juniors and I’d probably make fun of anybody who used Whoppers Junior in any way other than ironic or satiric.

(Took a look at the Onion article. My feeling exactly, except that Safire is savvy enough not to be so pedantic. John Simon would be, but he’s not sufficiently well-known as a idiot language critic to spoof.)

*Professional writer for 30 years

It should be “Whopper Juniors”, since it’s a name of a product.

Similarly, the plural of “BlackBerry” (the cell phone/email thingy) is “BlackBerrys”.

Would you say Figs Newton?

I certainly would not, nor even Egg Benedicts. On the other side of the street, though, a McGriddles is apparently a single sandwich. :smack:

The name of the product is Whopper Jr sandwich, so the plural would be Whopper Jr sandwiches.

Perhaps, if Isaac had turned out to have invented some marvelous culinary item involving the fruit, presumably right after he was done with the cat flap.

No, it isn’t.

The name on the menu is Whopper Jr. No sandwich.

I’m inclined to say that the name of a product is a unit to be pluralized, hence Whopper Juniors, but a prepositional phrase breaks that, even if that’s what it says on the menu. I wouldn’t say “Give me two Whopper Junior with Cheeses.”.

Yes it is. Or at least, legally speaking it must be something like that. A search of the USPTO trademark database reveals that “Whopper Jr.” is a registered trademark for “hot sandwiches—namely, hamburgers”. Since trademarks can be used only as adjectives, the product’s name must be “Whopper Jr. sandwich”, “Whopper Jr. hot sandwich”, “Whopper Jr. hamburger”, or something similar. In fact, the page you reference lists “Whopper Jr.” under the “Flame-broiled Burgers” heading, so presumably it’s a “Whopper Jr. flame-broiled burger”. Or so a Burger King lawyer would argue were he ever called upon to defend his company’s trademark in a court of law.

Again, this is a legal rather than linguistic argument, and ignores popular usage.

Not to NAAG pedantically, but the group that would have to be considered the proprietors of the title, the association to which each state attorney general belongs, is the National Association of Attorneys General. I presume if they’re grabbing fast food between sessions at their upcoming consumer protection conference, they might each eat a Whopper Junior. And, of course, each married attorney general has a mother-in-law. :wink:

Wrong. “Whopper Jr. flame-broiled burger” is the description of the product, not the name. The word mark is simply “Whopper Jr.”

No, psychonaut is right. From a legalistic point of view, naked trademarks are explicitly not names (i.e. nouns), but must always treated by their owners as adjectives. They do this in the hope of keeping the mark from being used as a noun in common parlance, which is the first step on the way losing its status as trademarks. (See aspirin, linoleum, cellophane, etc.)

As the International Trademark Association says,

Thus, as psychonaut said, the full name of the product must be something like the Whopper Jr sandwich: adjective plus noun.

But, as he said, this is what the lawyers advise their clients, and not necessarily what writers or editors (like myself) or ordinary folks actually do. For a take on what a wordsmith thinks about the INTA’s guidelines, see here.

If you were discussing members of the Foreman family, would you say:

There are four George Foreman, Juniors; or

There are four George Foremans, Junior?

Foremen Junior

I have a shirt with pictures of every version of Tony Stark’s suit on it. Every time I wear it, people debate if it shows “Iron Men” or “Iron Mans”. Which is the correct form?

Per trademark law, Iron Man characters.

Or, generically, iron men.