State Watch

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 Friday afternoon at a Pfizer manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Mich., where 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.”

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”

State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D) 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 more than 245 stores across six states in the Midwest.

Tags Gretchen Whitmer Joe Biden MEIJER Meijer Michigan Michigan Peter Meijer

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