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Crafting Compelling Content with the Artistry of Alliteration

Updated: May 10

Grammar Gadgets

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Issue 6

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 into my—well, you know, "Jason's Drunk Trunk", my junk drawer for writing. Read all about that in my post on authorial-intrusion. 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.

There are actually a couple of things going on here, but what that I'm talking about is my bad example of a tongue-twister. It was fun to say and sounded cool so I decided to just leave it in. Now, whether or not an editor will feel the same way, remains to be seen. But 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 made 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:




alliteration

1. The use of the same consonant at the beginning of several successive words, especially in a line of verse.

2. Use of a sequence of words beginning with the same initial letter.







Alliteration is a technique that can be found in everything from the works of Shakespeare to modern-day pop songs. It is commonly used in marketing and advertisement, as alliterating words can create a good feeling, and reading or saying these phrases can even help our memory. Studies have shown that reading alliterative text has a psychological effect on readers. It can evoke emotions such as joy or excitement and increase feelings of pleasure while reading. Furthermore, when used effectively in marketing materials, alliteration has been found to increase brand recall and recognition. While it may seem like a simple concept on the surface, alliteration is an incredibly powerful tool that can elevate any piece of writing.

Tongue-twisters

Tongue-twisters are good examples of alliteration, and who doesn't want to have a little fun trying to say things that are hard to say? In a tongue-twister, alliteration is not just used to repeat the same sound over and over again but it can also be used in a way that creates a pattern that readers can recognize.


a 3d cartoon of a smiling man holding a bunch of peppers

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked; If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?





a woodchuck holding a cord of logs over his shoulder


How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

A woodchuck would chuck, all the wood he could chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood!





Not To Be Confused With...

Consonance and Assonance

Some may say, and who am I to argue, that consonance and assonance are also literary devices, which I suppose is true, in a way, but really these two words, let's call them the Ance brothers, are just two types of alliteration. Let's go over the difference.

Consonance

Consonance involves repeating only consonant sounds within close proximity. For example: "Mike likes his new bike."

Assonance

Assonance involves repeating vowel sounds within close proximity but without necessarily repeating consonants. For example: “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”

What Have We Learned

While alliteration may seem like just another literary device at first glance, it has the power to transform your writing into something truly special. Additionally, alliteration can help you connect with the reader in a positive and fun way, which can create a bond between author and reader.

Post Script

You know me, always playing around with the AI art apps. Here's a couple Grammar Gadget logos I created with Ideogram. What do you think? Should I change the logo to one of these? Or stick with the one at the top of this post? Please click to vote!


Which Logo Would You Choose?

  • New Logo 1

  • New Logo 2

  • Current Logo




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Mar 17
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Good job Jas!

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