Rastas reject both STANDARD ENGLISH and CREOLE; their alternative usage emerged in the 1940s as an argot among alienated young men, became a part of Jamaican youth culture, and has been significant in the growth and spread of DUB poetry and REGGAE music. A major syntactic difference from Creole is the use of the stressed English pronoun I (often repeated for emphasis and solidarity as I and I) to replace Creole mi, which is used for both subject and object. Mi is seen as a mark of black subservience that makes people objects rather than subjects. The form I and I may also stand for we and for the movement itself:
I and I have fi check hard … It change I … now I and I [eat] jus' patty, hardo bread, from Yard (New York Magazine, 4 Nov. 1973).
[I was greatly affected … It changed me … Now I only eat patties, hard-dough bread, from Jamaica (a reference to Rasta vegetarianism).]
At the same time I fully know why leaders of societies have taken such a low view of I n I reality. They hold Rasta as dangerous to their societies ( Jah Bones , ‘Rastafari: A Cultural Awakening’, appendix to E. E. Cashmore , The Rastafarians, Minority Rights Group Report 64, 1984)
.Because of its significance as a mark of self-respect and solidarity, I often replaces syllables in mainstream words: I-lect Rasta dialect, Iyaric (by analogy with Amharic) Rasta language, I-cient ancient, I-man amen, I-nointed anointed, I-quality equality, I-sanna hosanna, I-thiopia Ethiopia. Other items of vocabulary are: control to keep, take, look after, dreadlocks hair worn long in rope-like coils (to signify membership of the group), dub a piece of reggae music, rhythmic beat, queen a girlfriend, Rastaman a male, adult Rastafarian, reason hard to argue, sufferer a ghetto-dweller, trod to walk away, leave, weed of wisdom and chalice (by analogy with Holy Communion) marijuana, ganja (regarded as a sacred herb). Rasta word-play includes the etymology Jah mek ya (God made here) for Jamaica, and the adaptations blindjaret for cigarette (pronounced ‘see-garet’) and higher-stand in preference to understand.
"RASTA TALK." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rasta-talk
"RASTA TALK." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rasta-talk
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.