Sound idea

4th May 2007 at 01:00
Alliterative sentences are fun to write. Begin with an animal such as "cat". Now build an alliterative sentence. Start with an adjective, "the curious cat". Then add on a verb, "the curious cat crept". Now see if you can extend the idea, "the curious cat crept carefully by the cool canal".

Remember that alliteration is the repetition of sounds rather than letters.

For instance, crazy chickens repeats the letter C but is not alliterative.

The sounds are different.

When words alliterate, it creates a memorable sound, drawing the reader's attention. That is why advertisers use alliterative patterns, such as "Buy Barton's beef". Alliteration draws the eye and ear to emphasise a point or detail.

Forcing alliteration often creates more surprising and interesting word combinations. It helps the writer break free of the expected cliche, so rather than "the barking dog" you might write "the doubtful dog".

Of course, alliteration is sometimes onomatopoeic - "the busy bees"

recreates their buzzing. Young writers do not need to worry about onomatopoeia because if they choose powerful words, they may well be onomatopoeic

Pie Corbett is a literacy consultant

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