English, Department of


Date of this Version



Pound, Louise. American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic Usage ; 1925 Oct; 1(1) 43-44.


As illustrated by the Klassy Klown and the Kute Kid, the present slump toward alliteration is mostly confined to the letter "k," and the hunting of it appears most prominently in the language of advertising. For "k" in poetry there was Coleridge's (one is tempted to write Koleridge's) "Kubla Khan," and one recalls Walt Whitman's picturesque respellings "Kanada" and "Kanadian." But love of "k" plays little part in comtemporary verse, although it appears abundantly elsewhere. Its rise in favor seems to be bound up with the late agitation for simplified spelling, or the oncoming tide of interest in phonetics. Simplified orthography for advertising is perhaps the most important legacy of the defunct spelling reform movement.


The curious, better perhaps kurious, nomenclature of the Ku Klux Klan is said to constitute part of its spell for its members and to have helped its rapid spread. The Klan makes much of Klansmen and Klannishness, It numbers among its officers, if reports speak true, an Imperial Klaliff and a King Kleagle, It has a revised oath and a revised Kloran, sealed by a prayer of the Imperial Kludd, It holds an Imperial Kloncilium or Klonvocation, rumor says, and there are meetings in a Klavern, Could all this fail to contribute to its success?