JCPenny

JCPenny

Actually: JCPenney or J.C. Penney

JCPenney (also known as JCP and Penney’s for short) is a chain of American mid-range department stores.

I was first made aware of this Mandela Effect from a post on the Subreddit by KitKhat. Upon further research it looks like it is quite a popular misspelling and general misconception. Googling JCPenny -JCPenney gives thousands of results spanning across news articles, review sites, online discussions and more. Calling it a Mandela Effect might be a stretch as I dived deeper into why this one is so common and why it got a lot of support on the Subreddit.

JCPenney
Unaltered JCPenney Logo

My Experience

On first glance, I too felt like this was a weird one. The logo, or even the spelling of JCPenney felt weird to me. I could reconcile that Penney wasn’t spelt in the normal way, but for some reason my memory still wanted to side with JCPenny. After working with the logo itself for this article, JCPenny was now feeling more weird to me for some reason. My mind keeps swapping back and forth on what looks the most “correct”.

Possible Explanations

I think this one is a really easy candidate for just being a misspelling and not a full Mandela Effect as some claim. People are used to reading and spelling “Penny”. It’s a name, and it’s also a coin, it’s our money that we use every day. “Penny” is ubiquitous to our everyday life. Both of those associations are there for JCPenney. It’s a name, so it must be Penny, or it’s a store, dealing with money, it must be a reference to the penny. Our brain wants to associate it with things we already know, with spellings we already know.

I even found a “JC Penny” misspelling by somebody working at JCPenney.

JCPenney in the Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls, Montana in June 2007
JCPenney in the Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls, Montana in June 2007

Additional Sources

JCPenney in the Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls, Montana in June 2007 photo

11 thoughts on “JCPenny

  1. I think that what is happening is that many people have an assumed spelling of a proper name that is in their mind and never really look at the word itself. No Mandela effect but just a case of not paying attention to the logo of the business which never did change. I know in my case for years I assumed that Rod Sterling created the Twilight Zone. I have had a VHS tape collection of that series for 30 years and in only the last 6 years I noted the spelling had been Rod Serling all along, both in the VHS case flap and on screen credits. The same holds true for Barbra Streisand. Many people claim that her name was Barbara but I feel that this was a assumed spelling in their mind. If anyone has a ticket stub from a concert of hers or a record label or a news story with the “Barbara” spelling then they should show that. There has always been two spellings for this common name.

  2. whats wrong with you braindead little nazi sheep , the earth isn’t round to denying whats in plain view today , you never change

    • What’s “in plain view” is how the flags of a tall-masted ship appear first on the horizon and the masts slowly rising, taller and taller, ’till the deck is visible and if my arms were long enough, I could reach out and grab it and put it in my pocket… oh, how I miss the world before M.E.

    • If you’re going to spout conspiracy nonsense, at least spell check your drivel.

      No one has a clue what you’re implying. Is everyone who disagrees with you a nazi? Fuckin tinfoils…

  3. I agree with Larry Jamison’s explanation, and here’s why —

    Not long ago, an acquaintance who believes that “J. C. Penney” was once “J. C. Penny” told me that he could finally prove it. He had just bought from eBay, as I recall) a 1970s catalog from the store, whose cover (he said) spelled it “J. C. Penny” (which was why he’d bought it: as proof) — and he offered to show it to me, so that I could see for myself that it had still been “Penny” when he was a kid back then. I accepted — he showed me the cover, while saying “See? At that time it was still ‘P, E, N, N, Y’ — just like the coin! It’s right here!” Yet the catalog clearly had “Penney” where he was directing me to see “Penney,” so I called his attention to the fact. Since he had misremembered/misprocessed “Penney” as “Penny” while actually LOOKING at the catalog (first on eBay while getting ready to buy it, then again while pulling it out to show to me), most likely he ALSO had misremembered/misprocessed his 1970s childhood memories of the same store when discussing its name 40 years later. (If you can misremember/misprocess something you are recalling having seen one minute ago or three days ago, you can mismisremember/misprocess something you are recalling having seen four decades ago.)

  4. The first credit card that I owned was from JCPenny and I spent a fair amount of time shopping there. Loved the store, the staff, the clothes, etc. Loved it all! Years after opening my account, shopping there frequently, faithfully checking and paying my billing statement each month, logging onto their website, etc., I opened up a small event business, later expanding and moving into the location of the old “JCPenny” building nearby. I never saw the name, as the sign had long since been removed, but I was going through my mom’s old things one night and happened upon a flier that had a JCPenney advertisement in it. It caught my attention because it was very old and I thought it was neat that we had recently started renting that space, but upon closer inspection, I noted the spelling of the name… With an extra “e” in it. What startled my brain into noticing this new (to me anyway) change was the font that was used. It was outdated and old-fashioned, nothing like the brand logo that I was so used to. This was all it took for me to realize that my brain had been assuming the traditional spelling for years in a place that I frequented. I wonder if this may be the case with some other instances (i.e., Berenstain Bears looks quite different in type, but normal in the traditional scripted title).

  5. LOL, I read J.C. Penny and J.C. Penney exactly the same. I had almost finished reading this latest post before I realized there was an extra “e” in one. That’s more proof, some people simple don’t pay enough attention to the details.

  6. We are taught in speed reading for those who read a lot. That your brain can read language a lot faster then when you don’t try to read each word. Your brain takes a short cut over useless word and you are reading not sentences but paragraphs. I have done this with thousands of books; just to get to the meat of what is being written. I have noticed that sometimes I have misunderstood the meaning of what has been said because I trained my brain to read so quickly. I think that even though most of the people probably have not been taught to speed read, the brain is lazy at times and on its own skips or misreads “words” in the sentence.

  7. I found a 1980s magazine in an antique store in Glaucester that has an old JCPenney ad in it. It has always been spelled with two ‘e’s.

  8. No, the store chain was founded by a man whose initials and last name actually WERE “J. C. Penney” — he named it after himself, and the Penney family (his descendants) continued to run it till the mid-1990s. They are still around, and still pretty rich — and I don’t think you could get them to believe that their own name has changed by adding an “e” while they weren’t looking.

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