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Politics Biden sparks Twitter debate over pronunciation of Midwest supermarket chain

18:30  20 february  2021
18:30  20 february  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: Biden sparks Twitter debate over pronunciation of Midwest supermarket chain © Getty Images Biden sparks Twitter debate over pronunciation of Midwest supermarket chain

President Biden on Friday sparked a Twitter debate over the pronunciation of Midwest supermarket chain Meijer.

Biden gave remarks at a Pfizer manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Mich. on Friday afternoon, as he was discussing how his administration began shipping COVID-19 vaccines to local pharmacies across the country.

"Here in Michigan, that's already more than 220 pharmacies, like Rite Aid and Meijers, in more than 130 Michigan cities," Biden said. "And that's just the beginning. It's only been four weeks."

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Social media users quickly picked up on Biden's pronunciation of the Michigan-based grocery chain. Jonathan Oosting, a reporter for Bridge Michigan, tweeted that Biden technically mispronounced Meijer by pluralizing it.

"I'd like to see some flash polling on this. Technically, the President mispronounced Meijer by pluralizing it. But it's common usage for a lot of Michigan folks who might hear it as a statement of solidarity. Ope!" Oosting tweeted.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) responded to Oosting's tweet, saying "If there were only vaccines at one Meijer, he would have been incorrect. However, many Meijer stores have vaccines - many MEIJERS"

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State Sen. Jim Ananich (D), who is the Democratic leader of the state Senate, tweeted "That's right @POTUS remember pop, yooper, Flint Coneys and MeijerS"

Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), who's father Hank Meijer co-chairs the company, declined to comment on the proper pronunciation.

"For the record, no comment," he tweeted.

Some users quickly responded to Meijer's tweet. Political strategist Rory Cooper, for instance, tweeted "Team Meijers and Team Michigander."

The first Meijer opened in 1934 in Greenville, Mich., according to the grocery chain's website. Meijer owns over 245 stores across six states in the Midwest.

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