What tdoes the term "alliteration" mean to you?

I often come across incorrect usage on the 'net – incorrect, that is, by my standards. Maybe the way they teach it has changed since I was a lad, or maybe the people misuing it are just morons. I don’t know. Anyway, going to list pairs of words, asking users to vote whether each pair is or is not alliterative. It is not my job to teach grown folks, much less embarrass them, to the poll results will be private. All I ask is that you vote before checking any reference source. In the thread, of course, you can argue your case.ur

Oh, and anyone who uses a Wikipedia cite for his or her definition is a filthy Smurf.

Poll in a moment.

I think of at least three words all starting with the same sound, regardless of spelling.

I guess you could argue Clark Kent.

Filthy Smurf is not alliterative.

Nope, merely adjacent or even just close together, such as ‘Five fighting foxes of Fenworth’, which is an alliterative sentence.

Unless Stan Lee creates an account and chimes in this will never be definitive.

I am fairly strict about declaring something alliterative. It needs to have a seemingly intentional, catchy quality to it and that is harder to achieve with just two words rather than longer sentences, phrases or names. Simply starting with the same sound isn’t enough for me (some of the ones on the list clearly do not qualify because the words do not even start with the same sound at all). The only one on the list that I know qualifies is Fanny Phelps. I also wouldn’t consider a name like Robert Bryant to be alliterative just because his friends call him Bob Bryant. That is just a coincidence and doesn’t match the necessary qualities at least to me.

Seven sea snakes snatched some sardines. Sibilant alliterative?

To me it repetition of the (especially but not necessarily exclusively) starting sound of word or syllable in close proximity, but just a couplet is a weak alliteration. And the initial “K-” correctly counts in “Clark” and the continued closing “K” contributes.

I lean towards saying that the letter must be the same (even if the sound is, so this eliminates Clark Kent). Not sure if that’s enough, or if it has to be same letter AND same sound… could be talked into either way.

I said not sure about Clark Kent – but really meant “sort of”. That is not because of different starting letters but different but similar starting sounds.

It’s definitely aural, not orthographical, and deals with the repetition of initial consonant sounds in adjacent or nearby words. It does not have to be intentional any more than a rhyme needs to be. You can have happenstance alliteration, just like accidental rhymes. ETA: I also consider it a subset or specialized case of consonance, too.

I voted all except Phyllis Peterson were alliterative, even though Clark Kent isn’t technically alliterative. It’s a grey area. It’s the sound that makes it alliterative, not the actual letters.

Do you think Charles Christopher is alliterative?

Words are rhyming if their final sounds converge, words are alliterative if they share initial sounds. Spelling is irrelevant.

So the name “Anthony Anderson” is alliterative?

What prevents " Clark Kent" from being alliterative? Both words begin with the voiceless vel.ar plosive–that is, /k/.


Why does Fanny Phelps qualify but not Matt Murdoch? They both start with same sound.

This is more accurate. There can be a non-alliterative word in between, here or there.