City Girl (of Country Girl / City Girl) tagged me for the one word meme last week.

I actually had done a version of this a while back. Some people had been calling it “monosyllablic,” and I was shocked (deeply, deeply shocked) that many people used words that were disyllablic or even polysyllabic. So I made sure that none of my own answers exceeded one syllable.

Anyhow, all my answers are still single words, according to the instructions. But I decided to spice things up additionally in my own way.

  1. Where is your mobile phone? attaché
  2. Where is your significant other? abed
  3. Your hair colour? auburn
  4. Your mother? adventurous
  5. Your father? absent
  6. Your favourite thing? acoustics
  7. Your dream last night? amusing
  8. Your dream goal? achievement
  9. The room you’re in? alcove
  10. Your hobby? anagrams
  11. Your fear? aggression
  12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? academia
  13. Where were you last night? abode
  14. What you’re not? aardvark
  15. One of your wish-list items? Avengers
  16. Where you grew up? around
  17. The last thing you did? ate
  18. What are you wearing? argyle
  19. Your TV? adequate
  20. Your pets? ants
  21. Your computer? Apple
  22. Your mood? appeased
  23. Missing someone? ancestors
  24. Your car? adorable
  25. Something you’re not wearing? anorak
  26. Favourite shop? Amazon
  27. Your summer? active
  28. Love someone? absolutely
  29. Your favourite colour? azure
  30. When is the last time you laughed? antics
  31. When is the last time you cried? announcement

Most of the answers aren’t altogether apocryphal, although a few approach.¹ (Can you guess which I just made up?)

Oh, yeah. Today’s word of the day is alliteration.

¹ They say a little alliteration goes a long way. I’m assuming a lot of alliteration is an assault.²
² I apologize. Kinda.

11 thoughts on “abbreviated

  1. Oh, I’m so impressed by this. Although–technically–as alliteration is a sound pattern, all your a’s would have to sound the same … (just graded an exam on this. Lordy, I’m a pedant this week. Sorry.)

  2. Mary-
    Aw, thanks. I’m awfully appreciative!

    Oh, you ruffle my perfectionist feathers! And here I try to be so careful in my choice of words. While I will concede that you likely know more about the term and its strict technical definitions, dear Professor, I offer the following rebuttal(s):
    1) An early definition of alliteration , as found at the online etymology dictionary, makes reference to letters vs. sounds: “1656, ‘to begin with the same letter…'”
    2) The common usage of alliteration is looser than strict technical definitions used in analyzing poetry. For example, see this secondary definition from the Random House Unabridged Dictionary (as found on

    2. the commencement of two or more words of a word group with the same letter, as in apt alliteration’s artful aid.

    3) Phonetically, all these words do start with the same sound, anyhow: the glottal stop [ʔ].
    4) Even if you don’t yield based on the preceding points, I would further argue there is still plenty of alliteration in the post, as there are several sequences in which the orthographic a is pronounced with the same phonetic vowel. For instance active, absolutely and azure all have the [æ] in the initial syllable, and acoustics, amusing and achievement all have [ə].

    Of course, if you want to be strict and tell me that the words need to be sequential or grouped to be examples of alliteration, and my post has all those questions in between my a-words, I’m out of arguments.

    Have I convinced you? Otherwise, I guess I’ll accept my points off. However, I will resent you for it, and may give you a bad course evaluation.

    (I have to say that I find it funny that you are calling me on the use of a term on this particular post. Because last time I tackled this meme (and let’s not get into the definition of meme), I jokingly mocked the misuse of the term monosyllabic. People had been using it as a synonym of terse, and I chose to adhere to the stricter meaning of “single syllable.”)

  3. Ha! Of course, we English profs would be out of a job if ‘common sense’ definitions ruled …

    Very well argued. And yes, the alliterative words do not need to be strictly adjacent. There was plenty of strict-interpretation alliteration in your post.

    On my most recent midterm, there was a line:
    “Was once our only hope to be”
    and my students mainly marked ‘once our only’ as the alliterative passage but if you sound it out, none of those ‘o’s makes the same sound.

    “Was once” is, then, technically, the alliteration.

    Pedantically yours, and greatly admiring your verve for language!
    Mimi :-)

  4. magpie-
    I adore you, too! And you are right about the argyle. I do have some socks that are vaguely argyle, in black and charcoal gray. But I was not wearing them at the time of writing this post.

    I’m pretty sure that the letter A has more options availabe than M. That’s my trick. (I’d have to check some sort of dictionary/corpus to be sure.) Though now I sort of feel compelled to try this with another letter….
    And you know, I have trouble imagining you colored argyle.

    Thanks! (I’m all out of energy to come up with another A-response…)

    Thanks for not taking off points! And I agree that “once our” is not alliterative, in spite of the same-letter spelling. “Once” is a tricky word that doesn’t start with a glottal stop phonetically, in spite of staring with a vowel orthographically. Oh, what a wacky language English is.

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