Writing about ChoZen, I was reminded of this note from a friend mine that arrived several weeks ago:
What is with the overabundance of groups that, for one reason or another (I guess they think it’s cool), use either a number in the group’s name or a “clever” way of spelling a specific word.
Examples: (I’m just flipping randomly through July’s SN if you have one laying around)
pg 110 - Forgiven 4 (does that make sense even if it was spelled correctly?)
pg 66 - ChoZen
pg 45 - Soul’d Out (mmm clever, might I add that the guy on the far right looks thrilled to be there)
Not sure if they are in this issue but I believe there is also a 4given.
Anyway, a friend of mine and I got bored at NQC one year and we walked around and counted every group that did one of these things, we counted 23.
So what are your thoughts? Why would someone do this? Is it to be “hip with the kidz, so we don’t come off whack”? If it is I don’t think a kid is going to be stuck at some SG gang-bang outdoor festival and see a misspelled word or a number in a group’s name and say to their parent(s), “Oooooh ooooh ooooh! This group is using the English language improperly, let’s listen to them!”
I have no answers; only two observations. In general, this sort of pseudo-cleverness tends to bespeak an attempt at imaginative distinction from insufficiently imaginative people (think of all the 4
Update: This commenter brings up a good point about the black gospel angle, and that makes me think that maybe this trend in names may be owing at least somewhat to R&B and hip-hop culture, in which case there’s probably more going on here than my initial school-marm reaction allowed. Indeed, there’s doubtless some structuralist theory of cultural semiotics out there that might offer some insight into what’s going on here. So all you structuralist semioticians, here’s your cue to speak up.Email this Post