There’s a passage in James Joyce’s 1939 novel, Finnegan’s Wake, that employed what he called “disemvowelling.”
culpingfor penance while you were ringing his belle. Did the kickee, goodman rued fox, say anything important? Clam or cram, spick or spat?
No more than Richman’s
gaelgalled by schemeof scorn? Nock? Sangnifyingnothing. Mock!
eius rhodammum tenuit
Five maim! Or something very similar.
I should like to
euphonisethat. It sounds an isochronism. Secret speech Hazelton and obviously disemvowelled. But it is good laylawtoo.
Don’t worry. I don’t understand any of the above, either. But when it comes to the concept of being “disemvowelled,” I completely get it when it comes to band names. (BTW, Wired once wrote an obituary for the letter “e.”)
It’s become very trendy (and, as we’ll soon see) very necessary for bands to created stylized names consisting only of consonants i.e. devoid of vowels.
And we’re not talking about a group of letters that stand for something like MFSB (Mother Father Sister Brother) or (maybe) KMFDM, either. Something clever like XTC or B-52’s doesn’t count, either. I mean proper words with the vowels excised.
What’s the motivation behind this blatant jettisoning of A, E, I, O, U (and maybe) Y? Here, as far as I can tell, the reasons for these odd spellings.
Texting and social media: When all we had was 140 characters, we need to be very economical with our spellings, leading to all kinds of shortcuts and abbreviations. Band names shortened in the same manner as ROTFL and FML seems to be a logical extension of this 21st-century form of written language. Ironic or iconic? You decide.
Looking for a domain: Ever try to find a .com domain for your band? It seems that all the available properly-spelled names are already spoken for. Creative spelling opens up more possibilities.
Someone already has your band name but
Trademarking purposes: If no one has spelled your band name in your weird vowel-less way, you have a much better chance of acquiring a trademark. Gotta protect that intellectual property, you know?
Here are more examples:
- BLK JKS
- Lynyrd Skynyrd (only if you think Y should never be a vowel).