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Is there a term for the single letter contractions as used in the following examples?

Toys 'r' us
Stop 'n' go

Note: Trademarks above corrected for proper grammar.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

’n’ is a conjunction with a listed definition of “and” given in various dictionaries, such as Merriam-Webster and Random House.

The letter R in the name Toys “R” Us is given with double quotation marks (not apostrophes) on their web site. Their logo uses a backwards-facing letter R. Presumably the “misspelling” of the word are combined with reversed letter is intended to make it seem as though a child produced the logo. Misspelling homophones (the letter R and the word are are both pronounced the same) and producing letters which are a mirror image of the correct letter are common errors of children who are just learning to write.

The first example I can comfortably just describe as a contraction. The Random House dictionary calls it a “Pronunciation Spelling”. The R in Toys “R” Us is not really the same thing and is better described as an intentional error.

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I'd say that using wacky spellings is mostly a way to be able to make a trademark out of what is otherwise just a three word expression. –  Benjol Aug 16 '10 at 5:35

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