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Terrence Donnelly wrote:

> I've been surfing some rap or hip-hop (I'm not "hep" to the "lingo"
> anymore!) Webpages and noticed an odd phenomenon, and I'm wondering
> if there is a name for this or anything similar in other languages.
>
> On most of these Websites, the plural "s" is consistently replaced
> with a "z" (eg. "Boyz").  It's not just an attempt to reproduce
> pronounciation, since they also do it when the sound is still "s"
> (eg. "Linkz").  They also do a lot of strange things with titles of
> songs, some of which almost read like a rebus, but I can't detect any
> consistent pattern.

There is a (small) possibility that these people have actually reanalysed
the plural morpheme as an underlying /z/, which devoices after voiceless
sounds.  There is also the possibility that these people just want to be different,
but I don't think it's clear what exactly they want to be different from.

> The only things I can think of that are similar are the way that we
> used to write America as "Amerika" in the '70s to imply that the U.S
> was a fascist state; and I once saw someone write "America(tm)" to
> critique the overly capitalistic bent of American society.

Well, but that was a conscious, ideological split there.  Do Rappers
have any ideological beliefs which they believe need to be differentiated
from the rest of American culture?  It seems to me (someone who doesn't
really know too much about the rapping culture) that it's more about
being in the right social group,  the "in" group, much as elsewhere language
is used in part to identify people as part of a certain group or society
(cf. Spanish in certain Latino communities).



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Tom Wier <[log in to unmask]>
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"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."

We look at [the Tao], and do not see it;
  Its name is the Invisible.
                 - Lao Tsu, _Tao Te Ching_

Nature is wont to hide herself.
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