Fan of some fabulous, fun form-fitting? Do you adore word designs? Love learning loads?
If you relish and revel in it, alliteration is maybe your game.
Alliteration is a fancy, long word that just means the repetition of sounds. It’s a poetic device and one of the sound-based literary devices.
Alliteration can be the repetition of consonant sounds or the repetition of vowel sounds. The repetition of consonant sounds is called consonance. Repetition of vowel sounds is called assonance.
There were many examples of alliteration in the first paragraph. Let’s take a look at them:
There are 6 I’s in this sentence; however, these “I’s”don’t all make the same sound! They are made up of three different sounds, which change the stress of each word:
“Short I”: It, writing, and it.
“Long I”: writing and decides.
“Long A”: ain’t.
Look at that! It ain’t the writing – especially for the letters that can make multiple sounds, like C and G. It’s a mistake to look at something and decide that it's alliterated just because certain letters are repeated.
Note: Just because letters are repeated doesn’t mean it’s alliterated!
Alliteration can also be made by different letters that produce the same sound. I can’t quickly peek and conclude – because I just used three different letters (C, K, and Q) to make an alliteration of consonance. There wasn’t any assonance even though the letters E, I, and U appear multiple times.
Enough of this orthographying✢. It’s the phonics that affects alliteration.
✢ “Orthographying” = is a fancy way to say paying attention to how it’s written and not how it sounds.
Have you ever heard the phrase “tools of the trade”? That’s an example of alliteration – with the consonance of the hard T sound.
Alliteration is often used like this – and it appears in phrases that you’d recognize, not to forget tongue-twisters too like:
(Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers⁑)
⁑ A “peck” = 2 gallons.
In fact, tongue twisters are a great tool to look at when you’re discovering the world of alliteration.
Ten Tongue Twisters that Contain Alliteration:
Two tiny timid toads trying to trot to Tarrytown.
Nine nimble noblemen nibbling nuts.
Quizzical Quiz, kiss me quick.
Ingenious iguanas improvising an intricate impromptu on impossibly impractical instruments.
She sells seashells by the seashore.
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A proper copper coffee pot.
If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?
There are ample examples of loony cartoon names that are alliterative – and start with the same initial sound.
Real People’s Stage Names
Rhyme is also a type of alliteration, so names like “Looney Tunes” and “Hannah Montana” are alliterative.
Alliteration is also extremely common in advertising and branding. Alliterations have a lot of advantages that make it easier for companies to sell something because;
Would you rather eat a chocolate-coated wafer or a crispy one? Is an example of clever alliterative marketing that sticks in your head.
Let’s look at some alliteration secluded in selling:
Chuck E. Cheese.
Alliteration is often used when describing and branding food, sometimes deliberately like:
Maybe it’s not on purpose, but you have to wonder why it’s “lemon loaves” and not “lemon bread.” Alliterative food often sounds tastier – and so it sells better.
Alliteration is a perfect device for playing around with language. I took someone’s attempt from this Reddit thread, below you can see I toyed around with the examples and came up with these:
And so on… Have a try for yourself and make ones for the L, and M and post them here!
Alliteration is interesting; It can make mankind mind their manners.
Well, maybe it doesn't make people politer! But at least now you know that "polite people" is an example of alliteration!
Go forth and alliterate to your heart's content!