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Mafia Subculture and Language Free Essay, Term Paper and Book Report

The Mafia is generally thought of as an Italian secret crime society, but the origins of the Mafia start way before the onset of automatic guns and cocaine. The Mafia began as a way of life: a way to protect one's family and loved ones from the injustice of the government. Only later, with the onset of the media, television and Hollywood did the Mafia take on a glamorous air it now has. Once the world caught hold of the “romanticism” of the Mafia, the Mafia was forced to change the way they lived and spoke to each other. Words like “going to the mattresses,” “Pigeon Stool,” and most importantly “Cosa Nostra” were created in necessity to create a new and unknown identity for the Mafia. “Some of the terms are simple borrowings from Italian; others derive from the Familiar process of slang formation of attaching special significations to familiar words or to such words combined into unfamiliar phrases” from the article entitled Lingua Cosa Nostra by, James L. Sanderson. When hearing “we are going to the mattresses” one might think bed shopping, but for those who are mafi......

Word Count: 1171
Page Count: 4.6  (250 words a page / double spaced)

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