If a company abuses the alphabet today, it's usually doing so to look hip-hop fresh, sometimes to look, dare we say ... outlaw. . . . In 1999, when Rupert Murdoch's Fox Family Channel launched two new cable channels, it fought the power by naming them the Boyz Channel and the Girlz Channel. (Both were soon zapped.) When it was still running, Lizzie McGuire was the most successful show on the Disney Channel lineup called "Zoog Weekendz." The STARZ!, BLACK STARZ!, STARZ! Kids' STARZ! Family digital movie channels add all caps and exclamation marks to convey their over-the-top Zness. . . . A quick trick to convince children that they're cool and that you, if you're a seller of stuff, are rad, is to call them "kidz" and otherwise buzz their brains with Zs; hence, the glitzoid Trollz dolls and cartoons (based on the 1960s cute-ugly Trolls); Bratz dolls (a massive seller); Nitro Battlerz (cars racing in battle domes and such); Kellogg's Gripz crackers and cookies; Hershey's Koolerz chewing gum, SnackBarz, and Twizzlers Sourz. On the health food side of the aisle, Hain's line of children's products is called Kidz, while EnviroKidz says it makes "The World's First 100% Certified Organic Cereals for Kidz."
From Slam Dunks and No-Brainers: Language in Your Life, the Media, Business, Politics, and, Like, Whatever, by Leslie Savan, who has equally enlightening takes on the letters "X" and "B."
Photo: Shopping Diva.