As we learned at high school, alliteration refers to the conspicuous repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in successive or closely associated syllables within a group of words, even those spelled differently. As always, however, there’s more to things than our teachers taught us. For example, alliteration is used poetically in various languages around the world, including Irish, German, Mongolian, Hungarian, American Sign Language, Somali, Finnish, and Icelandic. (American Sign Language? I didn’t expect that one!)

There is also a specialized form of alliteration called “symmetrical alliteration” that is similar to the concept of palindromes in its use of symmetry. In this case, the phrase must have a pair of outside end words both starting with the same sound, accompanied by additional pairs of words, where each pair starts with their own matching sounds as one moves progressively closer to the center. But we digress…

I don’t know why, but I do like a little alliteration on occasion. For some reason it invigorates me and makes me happy, especially when I manage to pull one “out of the hat,” as it were. For example, I must admit that I’m quite proud of the “Dirigible Deploys Delivery Drones” portion of the title of this column.

However, I fear that I may be trying to bluff my way through the fact that I seem to have missed the boat with regard to Amazon’s airship ambitions. I just ran across a short computer-generated imagery (CGI) “proof-of-concept” video on LinkedIn depicting an Amazon mothership sailing sedately across the sky with delivery drones beavering around servicing customers. So, I had a quick Google while no one was looking and found the same video on YouTube.


It seems this video was viral back in April 2019. I have no idea how I managed to miss it. The ever-faithful Google also led me to the Amazon’s Giant ‘Dystopian’ Delivery-Drone Blimp […] column on (I must admit that I borrowed the ‘Dystopian’ part of my title from them – I hope they don’t ask for it back).

The interesting thing is that this idea isn’t entirely fictional. According to the aforementioned Business Outsider column:

In pursuing a drone delivery service, Amazon patented the idea of a floating, blimplike airship, called an “airborne fulfillment center,” that would store products midair, and an accompanying network of “unmanned aerial vehicles,” or drones, that would pick up items from the blimp and deliver them to customers.

Watching this little rascal made me think all sorts of things, including, “I can see that happening” and “shades of Blade Runner” and “I wish I knew how to do CGI.” How about you? Can you envisage one day looking up into the sky and seeing a dirigible bearing the Amazon logo filling your field of vision?