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Take the lyrics:

... Now he lives in the islands
Fishing the pilin's (instead of pilings) ...

Is there a word that means to alter the pronunciation to achieve a rhyme (in song)?

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Actually that's a true rhyme, because most people would say /'paylənz/ instead of /'paylɪŋz/. Perhaps what you want is the term for a rhyme that only works in print (like wind / find); that's "eye rhyme" (i.e, a rhyme for the eye only, not the ear). –  John Lawler Jul 5 '12 at 3:21
    
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@JohnLawler I say the full word, /'paylɪŋz/. I guess I'm not most people? –  ErikE Jul 5 '12 at 4:54
    
@ErikE: So do I, as do many speakers of British English. –  Barrie England Jul 5 '12 at 7:16
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Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning @John Lawler? –  Mark0978 Jul 5 '12 at 13:44

2 Answers 2

In rap music, the term bending words is used when rappers create rhymes where there otherwise wouldn't be a true rhyme.

Here is a YouTube video where the artist Eminem talked with the news program 60 Minutes on this topic.

There may be other names for this rhyming device, too – I'm not claiming this is the right answer. Or, put another way:

There may be other terms, too, maybe ones that are fancier
I'm not saying that this is the only right answer
But if you don't like it, please don't be cussin'
I thought it was worth mentioning in our discussion

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Your use of mismatched rhyme / Unpleasantly warps my mind! / From this unruly, vexing game / Would you kindly refrain? –  ErikE Jul 5 '12 at 4:53

The term I've heard used for this sort of fudging is "allowable rhyme" - meaning that it's allowable by a generous interpretation of the rules, but it just ain't right.

H.P. Lovecraft (he of Gothic-horror fame, ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!) wrote a famous essay on the topic called, appropriately enough, The Allowable Rhyme. He did not approve.

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My own favorite-ever example of an allowable rhyme is by Tom Lehrer: "You may end up like Oedipus / I'd rather marry a duck-billed platypus / Than end up like old Oedipux Rex!" –  MT_Head Jul 5 '12 at 8:56

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