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Crafting Compelling Content with the Artistry of Alliteration

Updated: Mar 20

Grammar Gadgets

a logo on a piece of notebook paper with a pencil and a gear

This post is part of the Grammar Gadgets series, a collection of in-depth studies of literary devices, aka figures of speech.  Focusing on one device at a time will present a clearer understanding of each, as well as answer when, where, and how the tool is used. Since so many literary devices are very similar to one another, this will help us to differentiate between, say, a simile and a metaphor.

Welcome to Grammar Gadgets, and wouldn't you know it, the title of this series, Grammar Gadgets, is itself, an example of the literary device we will talk about today!

At the start of this year, I promised to give you all more Grammar Gadgets, and I have failed to do so, until now. Thank you for your patience, and let me start off with a little story about how I chose our topic for today.

I am getting closer to finishing my first edit of Mysterious Ways, thank you God! I'm on Chapter 31 of 37 chapters, and as soon as I'm finished editing, I will go over the story one more time, and then release to beta readers, in hopes of getting some good, or bad, feedback. I'm excited, and I hope you are too! I think you're going to like this thriller, which by the way, is rated MA for Mature Audiences over 18 Only.

letters ma

As I was editing the novel, I found a passage that I immediately wanted to get rid of... at first. It was one of those scenes that I was going to copy and paste in my—well, you know where, and if you don't, then go to my post authorial-intrusion and find out, but wait until you're finished reading this! So, I read the sentence over again, and got to thinking, I'm pretty sure that it was a rhetorical device of some kind. Which one, I had no idea. Maybe you can tell me? Can you name the device in the following passage from Chapter 29 of Mysterious Ways?

A wide grin came over Karl’s mouth, and he had a crazy look in his eyes. His adrenaline was pumping in quarts. All of the stress and anger that had built up over that weekend, was about to come free, in a fit of fury and fiery fists on Fletcher’s fat face. It was a showdown at the lodge, and things were about to get real.

Now, I know that is a horrible example of a tongue-twister, but it was fun writing it, and I decided, what the heck, just leave it in. Now, whether or not an editor will have the same conclusion, remains to be seen. I knew that all those 'f's together must be a rhetorical device, but is a tongue-twister labeled as such? Well, since I had to find out anyway, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone, and make it into a Grammar Gadgets, so let's get right to it, shall we?

What is Alliteration

Here is the definition of alliteration taken from the Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words: