August 25, 2008

Peter Piper Picked a Pack o' Players

Alliteration (begin-rhyme) has pretty much lost out in favor to rhyme (end-rhyme). Though it has still been used sparingly, Edgar Allen Poe, "While I nodded, nearly napping..." or Dr. Seuss, "Horton Hears a Who!"

Here is a list of soccer teams that use alliterative names to very memorable effect:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (England)
Alemannia Aachen (Germany)
Figueirense Florianopolis (Brazil)
Seattle Sounders (USA)
Cracovia Krakow (Poland)
Kemi Kings (Finland)

The transition to rhyme and end of alliteration in the West took place between AD 750 to AD 1050, coinciding, more or less, with Christianization. I wrote a little more about it this week in my blog.


ß. Andrigon said...

Can't we get some more precise dates than that?

Brains said...

Nope, the farther north you go, the later it fell out of fashion. Same deal with paganism.

ß. Andrigon said...

Reports of the death of alliteration have been greatly exaggerated. What about hip-hop? Musical theater lyricists? Ogden Nash doggerel? &, as you mentioned, Dr Seuss & other children's poetry?

Brains said...

You're right. Absolutely; thanks. Nowadays there is a good mix of both, as you proved - and in high poetry probably a use of neither.

I guess what I meant was the decline of alliteration going from, in an English context, Beowulf to Canterbury Tales 300 years after. Same deal in German lit form Hildebrandslied to Tristan, just slightly earlier (England started end-rhyme and blank verse later, and weirdly, Christianized later too).