I'm going for some alliteration in a paper I'm writing discussing the history and once-current state of a particular navy, and one of the three things I want to talk about is the possibility of poorly-constructed ships. The other two are appropriation (some ships were appropriated from conquered peoples) and reparation (many ships had seen multiple battles and had undergone numerous repairs). I want to be able to say something to the effect of, "The history of appropriation, reparation, and ---ation in the fleet significantly influenced the outcome of this battle."

I've toyed with 'ill-formation', but that doesn't sound right to me; it brings to mind poorly-constructed syntactic objects, not large physical ones.

Thoughts or suggestions?

  • For one thing, that isn't alliteration. Which is the same or similar sound at the beginning of the word.
    – Oldcat
    Apr 22, 2014 at 18:56
  • For another thing, reparation probably doesn't work well in this context, where it would likely be taken to mean a payment for compensation of war. Apr 22, 2014 at 19:05
  • @Oldcat Usually, but it could also be used more generally to refer to words with similar sounds in a shared emphasized portion of the word Apr 22, 2014 at 19:32
  • @BraddSzonye I didn't think about that, but I agree with you. I suppose my usage here is also rather archaic, but I enjoy tossing in some archaic uses every now and again... Apr 22, 2014 at 19:33
  • 2
    @DesAdams - the terms for more general "same sounds" is assonance or consonance.
    – Oldcat
    Apr 22, 2014 at 20:28

3 Answers 3


Consider the term "fabrication."

"The history of appropriation, reparation, and shoddy fabrication in the fleet significantly influenced the outcome of this battle."

  • I like this. It made me realize that I don't necessarily need a word that means 'poorly-constructed', simply 'constructed', because I will expound upon the 'poorness' of the construction later in the paper. Thanks! Apr 22, 2014 at 19:36
  • NG: Where are you getting your suggestions? They all seem to be nearby but just outside the ballpark. A fabrication is something built (metaphorically used to mean a lie), with no connotation of poorly- or well-built.
    – Mitch
    Apr 22, 2014 at 21:06
  • @Mitch the primary meaning of "fabrication" is "construction." Fabricate: to make by art or skill and labor; to construct.
    – Elian
    Apr 22, 2014 at 21:13
  • NG: OK, but are you looking at what I say in context? So, where are you getting your suggestions? Google?
    – Mitch
    Apr 22, 2014 at 21:27

We need to re-work the sentence a bit. Say we picked "shoddy construction" as the factor. Its not the history of shoddy construction in the fleet that significantly influenced the outcome of this battle. It is the shoddy construction itself.


Also consider malformation, which means abnormal formation. In the example sentence it might imply either badly-formed ships or a badly-formed fleet.

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