Replacing the letter c with k in the first letter of a word came into use by the Ku Klux Klan during its early years in the mid-to-late 19th century. The concept is continued today within the group. For something similar in the writing of groups opposed to the KKK, see § KKK replacing c or k, below.
Barcelona squat and anarchist centre, labelled "OKUPA Y RESISTE"
Replacing "c" with "k" was at the center of a Monty Python joke from the Travel Agent sketch. Eric Idle's character has an affliction that makes him pronounce the letter C as a B, as in "blassified" instead of "classified." Michael Palin asks him if he can say the letter K? Idle replies that he can, and Palin suggests that he spell words with a K instead of C. Idle replies, "what, spell "blassified" with a K? Klassified. Oh! I never thought of that before! What a silly bunt!"
A common satiric usage of the letters KKK is the spelling of America as Amerikkka, alluding to the Ku Klux Klan, referring to underlying racism in American society. The earliest known usage of Amerikkka recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary is in July 1970, in an African-American magazine called Black World.
The spelling Amerikkka came into greater use after the 1990 release of the gangsta rap album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted by Ice Cube.
The letters KKK have been inserted into several other words and names, to indicate similar perceived racism, oppression or corruption. Examples include:
The controversial United States law USA PATRIOT Act is sometimes called "USA PAT RIOT Act" or "(Pat)Riot Act" by its opponents. This is done to avoid using the common term Patriot Act, which implies the law is patriotic.
In French, where con is an insulting word meaning "moron", the word conservateur (conservative) has been written "con-servateur", "con... servateur", or "con(servateur)". The American English term neo-con, an abbreviation of neo-conservative, becomes a convenient pun when used in French. In English, the first syllable of conservative can be emphasized to suggest a con artist.
Netizens often called Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. as "MandaramBONG" (Filipino word for plunderer) to highlight allegations that he pocketed pork barrel funds through the use of fake non-government organizations.
The negative squared letter B (🅱️; originally used to represent blood type B) can be used to replace hard consonants as an internet meme. This originates from the practice of members of the Bloods replacing the letter C with the letter B, but has been extended to any consonant. Common examples are:
Ni🅱🅱a, replacing nigga. This has been criticized as a way for non-Blacks to get around the taboo of saying the "N-word".
Along the same lines, intentional misspellings can be used to promote a specific negative attribute, real or perceived, of a product or service. This is especially effective if the misspelling is done by replacing part of the word with another that has identical phonetic qualities.
Journalists may make a politicized orial decision by choosing to differentially retain (or even create) misspellings, mispronunciations, ungrammaticisms, dialect variants, or interjections.
The British political satire magazine Private Eye has a long-standing theme of insulting the law firm Carter-Ruck by replacing the R with an F to read Carter-Fuck. The law firm once requested that Private Eye cease spelling its name like that; the magazine then started spelling it "Farter-Fuck". Likewise, Private Eye often refers to The Guardian as The Grauniad, due to the newspaper's early reputation for typographical errors.