ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

All About Alliteration

Updated on August 5, 2012
Alliteration, like this tongue twister, makes use of repeated letter sounds as a literary device.
Alliteration, like this tongue twister, makes use of repeated letter sounds as a literary device. | Source

By Joan Whetzel

As writers, we have all kinds of literary devices available for drawing in a reading audience, and hopefully keeping them reading clear to the end. One of those literary devices is called alliteration.

What Is Alliteration?

Alliteration involves repeating the same, or similar, sounds at the beginning of multiple words, or in the stressed syllables of several words placed together or in close proximity. As an example, the title of this article "Al About Alliteration" or the tongue twister, "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers."

How Alliteration Fits Into the Grammar Lesson

Alliteration is used in everything from titles and tongue twisters to poetry, song lyrics, and brand names. The main requirement is that the repeated sound occurs in words that are paled together (All About Alliteration) or in nearly consecutive succession notice the wording of Peter Piper tongue twister, there are a few words that don't use the "P" sound and puts a few brief breaks into the alliteration pattern:

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?

The second main point about alliteration is that it falls into two categories, assonance and consonance. Most alliterations nowadays are of the consonance variet, meaning they are based on words beginning with or emphasizing a consonant sound (Peter Piper). However, assonance alliterations, which are based on vowel sounds, are still used with some regularity (All About Alliteration).

How to Use Alliteration

Alliteration can be used in many areas including writing:

1. It makes great catchy titles for articles, books (anything Dr. Seuss), movies (The Pirates of Penzance, Dirty Dancing, Captains Courageous) , TV shows (The Wide World of Sports, How I Met Your Mother), and electronic games (Prince of Persia) to name a few.

2. It also helps the flow and adds interest to sentences - Alice added apples to the pork pror to popping it into the oven.

3. It is frequently used in poetry.

4. Many famous people have had names that could be considered alliterations (Alan Alda, Captain Kangaroo, Roy Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin, Susan Sarandon, Loretta Lynn, Priscilla Presley, Lucy Liu, Lucy Lawless, Rene Russo, January Jones).

5. It is used frequently in news headlines and news column titles, as a means of attracting an audience to find out what happened.

6. It is used for store names - Best Buy, Circuit City, Piercing Pagoda, Past and Presents, or Bed, Bath and Beyond.

7. Sports teams are frequently names that make use of alliteration: Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Pirates, or the University of Houston Cougars (the "ou" in Houston and Cougars becomes the alliteration).

Resources

American Heritage Dictionary. Alliteration.

http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/alliteration

Your Dictionary. Alliteration Examples.

http://examples.yourdictionary.com/alliteration-examples.html

Outstanding Writing. Alliteration.

http://outstandingwriting.com/alliteration-what-is-alliteration-how-do-you-define-alliteration/

Wikipedia. Alliteration.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliteration

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • joanwz profile imageAUTHOR

      Joan Whetzel 

      6 years ago from Katy, Texas

      These are great names to add to the list. They do roll rather nicely off the tongue, don't they.

    • profile image

      trielesstraveler 

      6 years ago

      Alliteration is so fun, I hadn't realized so many actors has alliterated names. Voted up. Marilyn Manson, Michael Moore, Mickey Mouse, roll nicely off your tongue .The list goes on and on.

    • joanwz profile imageAUTHOR

      Joan Whetzel 

      6 years ago from Katy, Texas

      I know. I'm the same way.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I love alliteration and must guard myself not to "go crazy" and use it too much in ordinary prose.

    • joanwz profile imageAUTHOR

      Joan Whetzel 

      6 years ago from Katy, Texas

      Thanks sweethearts2.

    • joanwz profile imageAUTHOR

      Joan Whetzel 

      6 years ago from Katy, Texas

      You are welcom SidKemp. Yes, alliteration is still alive and well - and useful.

    • sweethearts2 profile image

      sweethearts2 

      6 years ago from Northwest Indiana

      Informative and Intriguing. Voted interesting, useful and up.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 

      6 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks, this is a fun read. I particularly liked the list of famous people. I was introduced to alliteration through Old English verse, which used alliteration on 3 stressed words out of 4 per line, with no rhyme scheme. Glad it's still around!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)