It happens a lot with commercial products, for example the car company Kia. Except they spell if Kappa Iota Lambda (KIL). Why? That is just one example among many I see nowadays. Are all these companies just trying to be cute or is there something I don't know about? Is it now acceptable to use lambda for A?


This was originally a comment, but I thought it appropriate to edit the question.

If this is just one company's stylization then I would say it would be off-topic and would not have asked the question. But I see this EVERYWHERE.

Duncan Donuts stylized the word doughnut, but now, "donut" is considered an acceptable spelling. And that's just one company. And phonetically, it's correct. "Nite" for night is used too, and it's phonetically correct as well.

If Duncan Donut's stylization can change the English language, why can't the use of lambda (and yes, folks, it is a lambda) lead to a change as well? I don't think people are appreciating the ubiquity of this "stylization."

  • 1
    Welcome to EL&U, but this is a question about design, not about English. They aren't spelling with a lambda, they're substituting a standard A for a highly stylized one that resembles a lambda, much like the Waldorf Astoria hotel was stylized Waldorf゠Astoria, or how EMC was stylized EMC².
    – choster
    Jun 19, 2019 at 0:50
  • 1
    The rendering of A without a cross-bar is just a stylistic feature. Lambda is unknown to the majority of English readers so the possibility of confusion is only small.
    – Steve
    Jun 19, 2019 at 0:51
  • 6
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's based on an incorrect premise (stylised design mistaken as a Greek letter) and is therefore not about English language/usage at all. Jun 19, 2019 at 0:55
  • 2
    And, likewise, the Toys“R”Us logo isn’t using the Cyrillic letter Ya (Я). Sometimes a backward “R” is just a backward “R”. Jun 20, 2019 at 1:53
  • @Scott That's just one company's stylization. What I am calling attention to is a trend that goes beyond just one company's unique stylization.
    – Yanni
    Jun 21, 2019 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


I would not characterize it as a lambda. As far as I am aware, almost any English speaker will tell you that it is a stylized "A". It is acceptable to alter the look of some letters for logos when it is clear enough what the letter represents.

There is no letter in the English alphabet that could be confused with an "A" without the cross-bar. I would go as far to say that most people would see it as an upside-down "V" before saying it was a Lambda.


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