Shang Antique: Established Since 1984

Although Shang Antique only moved into this unit at the front of Tanglin Shopping Centre sometime within the last year or so, I am willing to believe that the business has existed from 1984 until now. However, they should use “Established” or “Since” and not both!

More below on why the sign is wrong.

Any of these would be better than “Established Since 1984”:

  • Since 1984
  • Est. 1984
  • Established 1984
  • Established in 1984

In this context, the word “established” marks the moment of the founding of the company. The establishment is an event that already happened in the past, not something that continued to happen in the entire period of time from 1984 until now, so “since” is not appropriate.

Saying this company is “established since 1984” is like saying Katy Perry, a living celebrity, is “born since 1984”. You can, however, say that Katy Perry has been alive “since 1984” or that she was “born in 1984” or refer to her as “Katy Perry (born 1984)” or “Katy Perry (b. 1984).

If the sign said “Shang Antique: Since 1984”, we’d know it meant “Shang Antique: We’ve been selling antiques since 1984.” If the sign used any of the variants with the word “established”, we’d know it meant “Shang Antique: We started selling antiques in 1984 and we’re still selling antiques now.”

I also think the name of the shop should be “Shang Antiques” or “Shang Antique Shop” (or some other name with a noun on the end) because the singular “antique” sounds strange. Probably this is an example of the Singlish tendency not to use plurals where they’re expected in English.

To confuse the matter further, using plural nouns as adjectives is somewhat normal in British English, so you might still need to pluralize the noun. The result would then be “Shang Antiques Shop”.