What Is Alliteration? (with Examples)

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What Is Alliteration? (with Examples)

Alliteration is the repetition of the same initial letter in successive words. It is done for effect.

Alliteration is a stylistic literary technique in which neighbouring words repeat the same initial consonant sound. This is not to be confused with consonance as alliteration refers to only the beginning sound of the word and consonance refers to any other part.

Alliteration is used for emphasis or to make a sentence more pleasing to the ear. It is used in every day language, poetry, and literature. To form alliteration we need two or more words that have the same starting consonant sound. It's important to focus on the sound rather than the letter because it is the sound that catches the audience's attention.

Alliteration Examples

  • The bouncing ball went high into the sky.
  • (In this example, the "B" sound is repeated back to back by two words to create alliteration.)
  • Finally friends find Friday fun.
  • (In this example, we can easily see that the "F" sound is in each and every word in the sentence. This makes our alliteration very obvious and the repetition easily spotted.)
  • The quick cat climbed carefully.
  • (This example shows the importance of the sound instead of the letter as all make a "K" noise to create the alliteration.)
  • Decadent depletion of our resources is a sign of our definite demise.
  • (In this example, we repeatedly use the "D" sound to create the alliteration.)

More Alliteration Examples

Below are more examples of alliteration:
  • Simon says, "Stop."
  • The quick cat climbed carefully.
  • Don't cook the golden goose.
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • She sells sea-shells down by the sea-shore.
  • Stop in and save at our store!
  • Suddenly someone said, "Lions are lovely."

Used sparingly in business writing (e.g., once in a document), alliteration can:
  • Be used for emphasis.
  • Be memorable.
  • Make an impact.
  • Make you look confident.
Here is an example of how alliteration might look in a business document:
  • The second proposed solution was commercially astute, cost effective, and convincing.

While alliteration can be a great way to make your sentences catchy and memorable, overuse will make your work sound childish. Unless your primary audience is children, use this technique sparingly to ensure it remains impactful.

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