Metaplasmus means misspelling something or writing it differently because doing so will have a different effect on the reader.

Hip hop thrives on metaplasmus. (If I were writing about metaplasmus vis-á-vis hip hop, perhaps I’d call myself Metaplazmu$—although that’s a terrible rapper name.) The classic comic strip Krazy Kat provides another example.

The effect of metaplasmus in both of these examples is to colloquialize big words and ideas—to make them seem both more strange and more approachable.

This is very much in keeping with my goals as an artist and teacher, especially in the Litspeak entries on this site: Let’s see if we can’t define some big ideas in new ways, expanding on and moving perpendicular to the textbook entries found on Wikipedia (which is a wonderful resource) in order to make unexpected connections and new effects and, perhaps, to broaden our sympathies.


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