In Benjamin Zephaniah's Face, the main character leads a "gang of three" at the beginning of the story. The three friends' names are alliteratively Martin, Mark, and Matthew. This led to some confusion among readers (see Goodreads reviews linked above), and a good author would know that having characters with too similar names can cause confusion, so there must have been some reason for him nevertheless giving them all names beginning with M. Why? Is there any significance for the story in the letter "M" or in the alliteration of their names?

  • You remind me of "Ed, Edd and Eddy". Or the movies in which most people (men) are bald and tough (and towards the end, very dirty).
    – virolino
    Mar 29 at 13:34
  • @Rand al'Thor In real life there are examples of situations were several different people have the same or similar names. There was the "War of the Three Henrys" between Henry, Duke of Guise, King Henry III of France, and King Henry III of Navarre who became King Henry IV of France. When King Stenkil Ragnvaldsson of Sweden died in 1066, Eric and Eric claimed the throne and fought a civil war where they were both killed in 1067, and Halsten Stenkilsson became king in 1067 after Eric and Eric were killed. continued. Mar 30 at 17:28
  • @RAnd al'Thor Continued. So possibly some authors violate the rule against characters with similar names because they known that real life violates that rule, or for other and more literary reasons. Mar 30 at 17:29


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