There seems to be some discrepancy in the car wash industry as to where car washes are most likely to be ‘car wash’ or ‘car wash’ ie is it all one word or is it two words. Okay, since I was in the industry myself for almost 30 years before retiring, I want to take a moment to discuss this with you and give you my take on this controversy.
Interestingly, the term “car wash” has been used since the industry’s inception, but many people use “car wash” online, and when they speak, it seems over the years it’s been either or both. Unfortunately, the use of “car wash” also confuses those who insist on correct English, as it confuses the noun with the act of washing a car.
Having said that, I can say that in my career I was instrumental in modifying the English language to use the term “car wash” as a verb and as a noun, and looking back I like it more that way. Well, I’ve been on the mobile side of the industry for most of my career.
Nobody in the mobile car wash industry uses the word “car wash” to describe their business, and almost everyone in the traditional on-site car wash uses “car wash” to describe their operations. It is for this reason that I have used the term as I have, although I bet you could find half a dozen English majors or professors at any given school who share my opinion on the subject or the realities of a changing and evolving developing industry would not agree.
So I think I might disagree with English teachers, I’ve changed the term over the years and I like my way better, also if you search the word online the search engines seem to find companies and not very many websites seem to come up of the “Action” type on the subject of car washing. The world has changed so it’s time for all editors, English teachers and the public to get used to it and change or be overwhelmed by the onslaught of actual users of the language and beware now because here comes China with more English speaking people as a second language than the number of people in the US. India is next, so we all have to deal with that.
Reading about this word in Wikipedia immediately announces that both uses of the word are common and seems to indicate that both are perfectly acceptable. I tend to agree and would tell you that when discussing mobile businesses you should always use two words to describe them and when talking about a fixed location you should generally or mostly use the one word version. which most in the industry would agree. Indeed, I hope this clears things up for you, please think about and reflect on all of this.