It’s one thing knowing how to write correctly and quite another to be able to do so with style and flair. In my experience, it’s that indefinable something which separates out those who write perfectly serviceable business communications as part of their job and those who write for a living. There are various literary devices to add colour to your writing – metaphors, similes and hyperbole, to name just a few – but this week’s post focuses on alliteration and wordplay.
Making mischief with words (see what I did there?) is a way to have fun with the English language but, beware, introducing humour can sometimes fall as flat as a pancake (simile and cliché – bingo!) so should be used sparingly.
Alliteration – repeating sounds next to or near each other in a phrase as in “short, sharp shock” or “drop dead gorgeous” – creates a consistent pattern that catches the mind’s eye and focuses attention. It also makes the reader read more quickly, adding a sense of speed and intensity. It’s important to emphasise that alliteration involves the repetition of sounds, not letters. For instance, although ‘tin’ and ‘think’ begin with the same letter they are not examples of alliteration as the words do not start with the same consonant sound.
But, like all writing techniques, use alliteration with care. Alliteration that’s been awkwardly shoehorned into your writing simply won’t achieve the desired effect. The best results occur naturally when your writing is flowing well.
For writing with a dash of panache, give me a call on 01923 212048!