Tag Archives: alliterations

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.

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Filed under English language, grammar, literary terms, writing