Annihilation by alliteration

“Effulgence, I like that word.”

I agreed it was a nice word.

“I like the alliteration, intimacy of Indore and the aura of Aurangabad.”

I was not sure how that alliteration would help him sell rooms in his hotels in the two towns.

“You know, I always wanted to be a writer.”

For some reason I was glad his father had just inducted him into the family business of running hotels and not left him alone with pen and paper.

“You are so lucky. You make a living writing.”

I could not afford a room in either of his hotels. Not that I admitted it. Why spoil the chance of a complimentary stay.

“Effulgence … you are sure you cannot include it somewhere in the heading?”

I was positive I could not.

“Kerala is a beautiful place. We should have a hotel there. Maybe in a nice town … like Ernakulam.”

For a moment I did not figure out why the conversation had suddenly changed tracks. Then the alliteration hit me.

“Did you know about this word flocci something? Wait, I will write it and show you.”

He jotted it down on a piece of paper, frequently glancing down at something hidden in the drawer—floccinaucinihilipilification.

“We should shock people with our words. I find it fascinating. It will attract them.”

Soon, I lost that client, probably because he found me too timid with words.

Some months later, his brochure arrived in the mail, inviting me to the opening of their latest hotel in the “effulgence of Ernakulam.”

I broke into a sweat when I read that their plan for the next year included opening another hotel … in Faridabad.


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