An Article about Alliterations

I’ll admit it – I’m an alliteration addict. I relish the use of repetitive sounds in a string of words like a snake slithers sideways.

I spend way too much time thinking of ways to sign off on an email or create a Facebook post with cheesy phrases like, “Your Favorite Funny Friend,” or “Terribly Tired of Thinking,” or “Wicked Weather Wipes out Wisconsin.” You get the point.

Wait a minute. What is the point of an alliteration? To irritate the hell out of the reader? Not really. To impress others with our cleverness? Doubtful.

Headlines are famous for them; having only a limited number of words and space, an alliteration is effective in getting our attention: Duchess Dons Daring Dress, Haunting Halloween Hideaways, Police Provide Prince Protection.

Alliterations can be fun, too, commonly known as tongue-twisters: she sells seashells by the seashore; Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

The real question is, should writers avoid the caustic or cutesy communications? Not necessarily. In moderation or for a specific purpose, the technique can be a great way to infuse humor or drama in a manuscript. But beware, too much of a good thing can be well … annoying, aggravating, and absolutely awful.



Filed under English language, grammar, literary terms, writing

3 responses to “An Article about Alliterations

  1. Hah! I love love love this! I am an alliteration junkie myself. Can’t get enough! I wrote some writing exercises recently for a 6-8 grade product, and had a BLAST using alliteration and allusions to spice it up. Nice to know there are more of us out there!

  2. Oh, and you’re right, it can get annoying. Thankfully, blogging is as much for the blogger’s enjoyment as it is for the outside world’s…

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