Punctuating a non-standard phrase

Subject: Punctuating a non-standard phrase
From: "Kenneth M. Nuckols" <knuck -at- BESTBUY -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 1996 10:54:50 -0500

Apologies to any who may receive a duplicate of this message, my mailer
hiccoughed before I had a chance to put a subject tag on it...

Hello,

This is my first posting to the list, as I am a new subscriber,
coming back to the field of Tech Writing (well, sort of) after a rather
circuitous career that involved pursuing an M.A. in Literature and teaching
Freshman Composition at the university and community college level.

Yes, I have been given the dubious distinction of being the
department "expert" on spelling, grammar, and mechanics, but I've been
stumped by a recent question concerning punctuation of a phrase that is at
the least non-standard English and perhaps qualifies as outright slang.
Yesterday two of my co-workers got into a heated argument over the proper
way of punctuating the phrase "Grab-n-go" (used to describe the self-service
retail atmosphere of the stores). Before it came to blows they consulted me
with several options.

Of course I first suggested putting "and" in the middle, but they
are looking for a more--er, here I go making up a word--"slogany" phrase,
and there are three top contenders. I looked through my MLA style guide
(which is a couple of years old) and the texts I taught from the last three
years or so, but to no avail when it comes to punctuating such non-standard
phrases. Therefore I'd like your input on the "least improper" way of
writing the phrase:

1) Grab-n-go (my suggestion)

2) Grab n' go

3) Grab 'n' go

Thanks in advance for your assistance, and I look forward to
participating in further discussions on this list. By the way, if there's
anyone else on the list from the Twin Cities area, I'm newly transplanted
from tourist-infested Orlando and would appreciate the opportunity to get to
know a few of my local colleagues.

Chat with you later,

Ken
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kenneth M. Nuckols Best Buy Co, Inc.
Corporate Trainer 7075 Flying Cloud Dr.
knuck -at- BestBuy -dot- com Eden Prarie, MN 55433
nuckler -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com (612) 947-2518

"I am McMahon of Borg -- you may have already been assimilated!"
-- Anonymous

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