A recent New York Times crossword had “Target’s target” as a clue. The word it was meant to represent was “logo,” which was linguistically wrong. Logo is short for logotype, from the Greek “logos” (word) and “type.” It’s a trademark involving a word, usually the name of a company. In its use as a recognizable identifier on an advertisement, for example, or a letterhead, or a sign on the side of a store or a delivery van, Sears is a logo, as is Coca-Cola, Ford, MasterCard, Levi’s, etc. Target’s target, on the other hand, is a symbol. Microsoft Windows window is a symbol, Nike’s swoosh is a symbol and so on.

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