Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun May 20 21:01:05 UTC 2007

It couldn't have been inspired by a passing acquaintance with the word (not the language) "Afrikaans," could it?

I agree that part of the story was to reject conventional spelling, regarded as another ex. of "illegitimate authority" by "The Man" (which replaced "The Establishment" of the mid-60's and "The System" of a couple of years later).

Postmodernist African-American  poetry (note stylistically useful hyphen which aids speed of comprehension) began to exploit many respellings (e.g., "u" for "you," "4" for "for," "kool kat" for "cool cat") at about the same time.


"Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET> wrote: ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society
Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson"
Subject:      Re: "Amerika"

>The New York bombers identified themselves afterwards as "revoluntary
>force 9" in a message to "Amerika" (a current fad in radical literature
>is to spell it with a German "k" to denote facism).  -San Francisco
>Examiner and Chronicle, Datebook, page 18 (5 April 1970).
>They put us on trial; we denoucned "Amerika" with its teutonic look, or
>"Amerikkka."  Todd Gitline: The Sixties, page 288 (1987).

But IIRC along about the same time there was a tendency among some
activists toward the spelling "Afrika" too ... I don't think it was to
suggest African fascism, I think it was to reject the US spelling and
employ some other orthography, not German, maybe Swahili or something like
that. I had it explained to me by a student activist ca. 1970 but I can't
remember exactly what he said and I doubt it was linguistically
authoritative anyway.

"Afrika[n]" is still around. Google (e.g.) <>.

-- Doug Wilson

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