Did that title make you feel curious to read this post?
Well, that’s because catching the reader’s attention is after all, its intended purpose. These phrases with two or more words that start with the same letter or consonant, are called alliterations. Alliterations are often used to add character to the writing and include an element of ‘fun’ to the piece.
In order to achieve an uplifting tone, Fairy Tail once used an alliteration for one of the episode titles. It not only summarises the episode, but makes it appealing and intriguing for the viewers too.
Alliterations are sometimes used to emphasize certain words too.
For the example below,
- “little” refers to how insignificant Juvia is, surrounded by a vast empty desert
- “lost” implies a sense of despair and the loss of Juvia’s rationality
- “lamb” is an animal commonly associated with cuteness and innocence. However, in this scenario, the lamb symbolises prey, for Juvia is being hunted down by the predator, Aries.
Combining the significance of all three words, we can draw a clear relationship between Aries and Juvia: strong VS weak.
Many rap songs today contain many alliterations as well. There’s this rap verse on alliterations that start with the letter ‘L’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmYVb0e-dXI
Most of the times, alliterations bring ‘fun’ to the table, but take away grammar and accuracy as well. Firstly, the alliteration may not be able to include many conjunctions, like “and”, “although”… Also, words of similar meanings have different extent, for example, ‘happy’ and ‘overjoyed’. In order to construct an alliterations, authors sometimes substitute the most precise word, for a word that begins with the same letter. However, this substituted word may not be able to fully bring out the most precise and appropriate meaning. This is one of the major drawbacks of using an alliteration.
Thanks for taking the time to think through this terribly tedious text that I took thirty minutes typing, TEEHEE!
P.S. This is the first out of the seven posts in A Week of Literary Devices. Look forward to the upcoming six others!