Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 51

alliterative phrase

from the poetic form alliteration, a sentence that incorporates the same initial consonent for the principle stress words. Sometimes the effect is comical (unitentionally), but sometimes memorable. We all know "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled-peppers," from our Mother Goose. Keen authors will use alliterative phrases to accent a mood, where hard consonents create friction and soft ones are melodious.

My favorite alliterative phrase is from W. S. Gilbert - The Yeomen of the Guard.

"Oh, weary wives who widowhood would win, rejoice that ye have time to weary in."

Edward C. Patterson

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