In literature, alliteration is the conspicuous repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in successive or closely associated syllables within a group of words, even those spelled differently. As a method of linking words for effect, alliteration is also called head rhyme or initial rhyme. For example, "humble house," or "potential power play." A familiar example is "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers". "Alliteration" is from the Latin word littera, meaning "letter of the alphabet"; it was first coined in a Latin dialogue by the Italian humanist Giovanni Pontano in the 15th century.
Some literary experts accept as alliteration the repetition of vowel sounds, or repetition at the end of words. Alliteration narrowly refers to the repetition of a letter in any syllables that, according to the poem's meter, are stressed, as in James Thomson's verse "Come…dragging the lazy languid line along".
Consonance is a broader literary device identified by the repetition of consonant sounds at any point in a word (for example, coming home, hot foot). Alliteration is a special case of consonance where the repeated consonant sound is in the stressed syllable. Alliteration may also refer to the use of different but similar consonants, such as alliterating z with s, as does the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, or as Anglo-Saxon (Old English) poets would alliterate hard/fricative g with soft g (the latter exemplified in some courses as the letter yogh – ȝ – pronounced like the y in yarrow or the j in Jotunheim).
There is one specialised form of alliteration called Symmetrical Alliteration. That is, alliteration containing parallelism, or chiasmus. In this case, the phrase must have a pair of outside end words both starting with the same sound, and pairs of outside words also starting with matching sounds as one moves progressively closer to the centre. For example, "rust brown blazers rule" or "fluoro colour co-ordination forever". Symmetrical alliteration is similar to palindromes in its use of symmetry.
Alliteration is used in the alliterative verse of Old English, Old Norse, Old High German, Old Saxon, and Old Irish. It was an important ingredient of the Sanskrit shlokas. Alliteration was used in Old English given names. This is evidenced by the unbroken series of 9th century kings of Wessex named Æthelwulf, Æthelbald, Æthelberht, and Æthelred. These were followed in the 10th century by their direct descendants Æthelstan and Æthelred II, who ruled as kings of England. The Anglo-Saxon saints Tancred, Torhtred and Tova provide a similar example, among siblings.
In relation to English poetry, poets can call attention to certain words in a line of poetry by using alliteration. They can also use alliteration to create a pleasant, rhythmic effect. In the following poetic lines, notice how alliteration is used to emphasize words and to create rhythm:
"Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling!' Walt Whitman, "Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun"
“They all gazed and gazed upon this green stranger,/because everyone wondered what it could mean/ that a rider and his horse could be such a colour-/ green as grass, and greener it seemed/ than green enamel glowing bright against gold". (232-236) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Bernard O'Donoghue (In the original, and in J. R. R. Tolkien's translation, this poem in fact follows an alliterative meter.)
"Some papers like writers, some like wrappers. Are you a writer or a wrapper?" Carl Sandburg, "Paper I"
Alliteration can also add to the mood of a poem. If a poet repeats soft, melodious sounds, a calm or dignified mood can result. If harsh, hard sound are repeated, on the other hand, the mood can become tense or excited. In this poem, alliteration of the s, l, and f sounds adds to a hushed, peaceful mood:
"Softer be they than slippered sleep the lean lithe deer the fleet flown deer."
Alliteration has been used in various spheres of public speaking and rhetoric. Alliteration can also be considered an artistic constraint that is used by the orator to sway the audience to feel some type of urgency, or perhaps even lack of urgency, or another emotional effect. For example, H or E sounds can soothe, whereas a P or a B sound can be percussive and attention-grabbing. S sounds can imply danger or make the audience feel as if they are being deceived. Other sounds can create feelings of happiness, discord, or anger, depending on context. Alliteration serves to "intensify any attitude being signified".:6–7 Its significance as a rhetorical device is that it adds a textural complexity to a speech, making it more engaging, moving, and memorable. The use of alliteration in a speech captivates a person's auditory senses; this helps the speaker to create a mood. The use of a repeating sound or letter is noticeable, and so forces an audience's attention and evokes emotion.
A well-known example is in John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, in which he uses alliteration 21 times. The last paragraph of his speech is given as an example here.
"Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on Earth God's work must truly be our own." — John F. Kennedy
Other examples of alliteration in some famous speeches:
Alliteration is commonly used in modern music but is also seen in magazine article titles, advertisements, business names, comic strips, television shows, video games and in the dialogue and naming of cartoon characters.
Ad libitum () is Latin for "at one's pleasure" or "as you desire"; it is often shortened to "ad lib" (as an adjective or adverb) or "ad-lib" (as a verb or noun). The roughly synonymous phrase a bene placito ("in accordance with [one's] good pleasure") is less common but, in its Italian form a piacere, entered the musical lingua franca (see below).
The phrase "at liberty" is often associated mnemonically (because of the alliteration of the lib- syllable), although it is not the translation (there is no cognation between libitum and liber). Libido is the etymologically closer cognate known in English.Alliterative verse
In prosody, alliterative verse is a form of verse that uses alliteration as the principal ornamental device to help indicate the underlying metrical structure, as opposed to other devices such as rhyme. The most commonly studied traditions of alliterative verse are those found in the oldest literature of the Germanic languages, where scholars use the term 'alliterative poetry' rather broadly to indicate a tradition which not only shares alliteration as its primary ornament but also certain metrical characteristics. The Old English epic Beowulf, as well as most other Old English poetry, the Old High German Muspilli, the Old Saxon Heliand, the Old Norse Poetic Edda, and many Middle English poems such as Piers Plowman, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the Alliterative Morte Arthur all use alliterative verse.Alliterative verse can be found in many other languages as well. The Finnish Kalevala and the Estonian Kalevipoeg both use alliterative forms derived from folk tradition. Traditional Turkic verse, for example that of the Uyghur, is also alliterative.Catchiness
Catchiness is how easy it is for one to remember a song, tune or phrase. It is often taken into account when writing songs, catchphrases, advertising slogans, jingles etc. Alternatively, it can be defined as how difficult it is for one to forget it. Songs that embody high levels of remembrance or catchiness are literally known as "catchy songs" or "earworms". While it is hard to scientifically explain what makes a song catchy, there are many documented techniques that recur throughout catchy music, such as repetition, hooks and alliteration. Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music says that "although there was no definition for what made a song catchy, all the songwriting guides agreed that simplicity and familiarity were vital".The physical symptoms of listening to a catchy song include "running [it] over in our heads or tapping a foot". According to Todd Tremlin, catchy music "spread[s] because [it] resonates similarly from one mind to the next".Clanging
In psychology and psychiatry, clanging refers to a mode of speech characterized by association of words based upon sound rather than concepts. For example, this may include compulsive rhyming or alliteration without apparent logical connection between words. This is associated with the irregular thinking apparent in psychotic mental illnesses (e.g. mania and schizophrenia). Gustav Aschaffenburg found that manic individuals generated these "clang-associations" roughly 10-50 times more than non-manic individuals. Aschaffenburg also found that the frequency of these associations increased for all individuals as they became more fatigued.Clanging refers specifically to behavior that is situationally inappropriate. While a poet rhyming is not evidence of mental illness, disorganized speech that impedes the patient's ability to communicate is a disorder in itself, often seen in schizophrenia.Dexter's Final Cut
Dexter's Final Cut is the seventh novel written by Jeff Lindsay, and the seventh book in the 'Dexter Morgan' book series about a serial killer who targets other serial killers. The book was released on September 17, 2013. Responding to the lack of alliteration on the title in comparison to the previous ones in the series, Lindsay has stated, "It's because this novel is very different than the previous, shockingly so..."Doomsday device
A doomsday device is a hypothetical construction — usually a weapon or weapons system — which could destroy all life on a planet, particularly Earth, or destroy the planet itself, bringing "doomsday", a term used for the end of planet Earth. Most hypothetical constructions rely on the fact that hydrogen bombs can be made arbitrarily large assuming there are no concerns about delivering them to a target (see Teller–Ulam design) or that they can be "salted" with materials designed to create long-lasting and hazardous fallout (e.g., a cobalt bomb).
Doomsday devices and the nuclear holocaust they bring about have been present in literature and art especially in the 20th century, when advances in science and technology made world destruction (or at least the eradication of all human life) a credible scenario. Many classics in the genre of science fiction take up the theme in this respect. The term "doomsday machine" itself is attested from 1960, but the alliteration "doomsday device" has since become more popular.Light poetry
Light poetry or light verse is poetry that attempts to be humorous. Light poems are usually brief, can be on a frivolous or serious subject, and often feature word play including puns, adventurous rhyme, and heavy alliteration. Typically, light verse in English is formal verse, although a few free verse poets have excelled at light verse outside the formal verse tradition.
While light poetry is sometimes condemned as doggerel or thought of as poetry composed casually, humor often makes a serious point in a subtle or subversive way. Many of the most renowned "serious" poets, such as Horace, Swift, Pope, and Auden, also excelled at light verse.Literary consonance
Consonance is a stylistic literary device identified by the repetition of identical or similar consonants in neighbouring words whose vowel sounds are different (e.g. coming home, hot foot). Consonance may be regarded as the counterpart to the vowel-sound repetition known as assonance.Alliteration is a special case of consonance where the repeated consonant sound is at the stressed syllable, as in "few flocked to the fight" or "around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran". Alliteration is usually distinguished from other types of consonance in poetic analysis, and has different uses and effects.
Another special case of consonance is sibilance, the use of several sibilant sounds such as /s/ and /sh/. An example is the verse from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven": "And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain." (This example also contains assonance around the "ur" sound.) Another example of consonance is the word "sibilance" itself.
Consonance is an element of half-rhyme poetic format, sometimes called "slant rhyme". It is common in hip-hop music, as for example in the song Zealots by the Fugees: "Rap rejects my tape deck, ejects projectile/Whether Jew or gentile I rank top percentile." (This is also an example of internal rhyme.)Old Norse orthography
The orthography of the Old Norse language was diverse, being written in both Runic and Latin alphabets, with many spelling conventions, variant letterforms, and unique letters and signs. In modern times, scholars established a standardized spelling for the language. When Old Norse names are used in texts in other languages, modifications to this spelling are often made. In particular, the names of Old Norse mythological figures often have several different spellings.
The appearance of Old Norse in a written runic form first dates back to approximately 200–300 A.D. While there are remains of Viking runestones from the Viking Age today they are rare, and vary in use of orthography depending on when they were created. Rune stones created near the end of the Viking Age tend to have a greater influence from Old English runes.
An understanding of the writing system of Old Norse is crucial for fully understanding the Old Norse language. Studies of remaining rune stones from the Viking Age reveal many nuances about the spoken language, such as the constant use of alliteration. A comparison of various whetstones from this time period with the works of Snorri Sturluson reveal that alliteration was common in many Old Norse writings, and were not only present in skaldic works. This would then suggest that the Vikings closely tied their language to their auditory sense, which in turn would have helped with the continual transfer of their cultural memory, which was also closely tied to their language.Old Norse poetry
Old Norse poetry encompasses a range of verse forms written in Old Norse, during the period from the 8th century (see Eggjum stone) to as late as the far end of the 13th century. Most of the Old Norse poetry that survives was preserved in Iceland, but there are also 122 preserved poems in Swedish rune inscriptions, 54 in Norwegian and 12 in Danish.Poetry played an important role in the social and religious world of the Vikings. In Norse mythology, Skáldskaparmál (1) tells the story of how Odin brought poetry to Asgard, which is an indicator of the significance of poetry within the contemporary Scandinavian culture.
Old Norse poetry is characterised by alliteration, a poetic vocabulary expanded by heiti, and use of kennings. An important source of information about poetic forms in Old Norse is the Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson.
Old Norse poetry is conventionally, and somewhat arbitrarily, split into two types—Eddaic poetry (also sometimes known as Eddic poetry) and skaldic poetry. Eddaic poetry includes the poems of the Codex Regius and a few other similar ones. Skaldic poetry is usually defined as everything else not already mentioned.On Translating Beowulf
"On Translating Beowulf" is an essay by J. R. R. Tolkien which discusses the difficulties faced by anyone attempting to translate the Old English heroic-elegiac poem Beowulf into modern English. It was first published in 1940 as a preface contributed by Tolkien to a translation of Old English poetry; it was first published as an essay under its current name in the 1983 collection The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays.
In the essay, Tolkien explains the difficulty of translating individual words from Old English, noting that a word like eacen ('large', 'strong', 'supernaturally powerful') cannot readily be translated by the same word in each case. He notes the problem of translating poetic kennings such as sundwudu ('flood-timber', i.e. 'ship') and that the language chosen by the poet was already archaic at that moment. He explains that such terms had echoes and connotations of another world, an "unrecapturable magic".The essay describes Old English metre, with each line in two opposed halves. The stressed syllables in each half contained alliterating sounds in six possible patterns, which Tolkien illustrates using modern English. Rhyme is used only for special effects, such as to imitate waves beating on a shore. The essay ends with the observation that the whole poem is itself in two opposed halves, covering "Youth + Age; he rose – fell."Critics note that Tolkien attempted and sometimes failed to follow the rules he laid down in the essay in his own alliterative verse, in his own translations, and indeed in his narrative fiction such as The Lord of the Rings.Peter Piper
"Peter Piper" is an English-language nursery rhyme and well-known alliteration tongue-twister. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 1945.Poetry
Poetry (the term derives from a variant of the Greek term, poiesis, "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning.
Poetry has a very long history, dating back to prehistorical times with the creation of hunting poetry in Africa, and panegyric and elegiac court poetry was developed extensively throughout the history of the empires of the Nile, Niger and Volta river valleys . Some of the earliest written poetry in Africa can be found among the Pyramid Texts written during the 25th century BCE, while the Epic of Sundiata is one of the most well-known examples of griot court poetry. The earliest Western Asian epic poetry, the Epic of Gilgamesh, was written in Sumerian. Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, and the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama, song and comedy. Later attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, and emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing.
Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects. The use of ambiguity, symbolism, irony and other stylistic elements of poetic diction often leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Similarly, figures of speech such as metaphor, simile and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections previously not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm.
Some poetry types are specific to particular cultures and genres and respond to characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. Readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante, Goethe, Mickiewicz and Rumi may think of it as written in lines based on rhyme and regular meter; there are, however, traditions, such as Biblical poetry, that use other means to create rhythm and euphony. Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition, playing with and testing, among other things, the principle of euphony itself, sometimes altogether forgoing rhyme or set rhythm. In today's increasingly globalized world, poets often adapt forms, styles and techniques from diverse cultures and languages.Prayer Before Birth
Prayer Before Birth is a poem written by the Irish poet Louis MacNeice (1907–1963) at the height of the Second World War. In the poem, Louis MacNeice expresses his fear at what the world's tyranny can do to the innocence of a child and blames the human race "for the sins that in me the world shall commit". The poem also contains many religious themes and overtones through the use of double-imagery; the child could be seen as a metaphor for Christ, making reference to certain themes and events said to have occurred during his ministry on earth.
There is great use of alliteration and assonance: "strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me" to create rhythm in the poem. Also repetition of "I am not yet born" is used to emphasise innocence. MacNeice also talks of being a "cog in a machine" - this shows that he feels that society will mould the child to become part of everything else around him, he will be worthless, insignificant and merely a part of an entire collaboration.Rhyming dictionary
A rhyming dictionary is a specialist dictionary designed for use in writing poetry and lyrics. In a rhyming dictionary, words are categorized into equivalence classes that consist of words that rhyme with one another. They also typically support several different kinds of rhymes and possibly also alliteration as well.
Because rhyming dictionaries are based on pronunciation, they are difficult to compile. Words and rhyming patterns change their pronunciation over time and between dialects. Rhyming dictionaries for Old English, Elizabethan poetry, or Standard English would have quite different content. Rhyming dictionaries are invaluable for historical linguistics; as they record pronunciation, they can be used to reconstruct pronunciation differences and similarities that are not necessarily reflected in spelling.
A simple reverse dictionary, which collates words starting from the end, provides a rough rhyming dictionary to the extent that spelling follows pronunciation. However, a precise rhyming dictionary reflects pronunciation, not spelling.Rindr
Rindr (Old Norse) or Rinda (Latin) (sometimes Anglicized Rind) is a female goddess in Norse mythology, alternatively described as a giantess or a human princess from the east. She was impregnated by Odin and gave birth to the avenger of Baldr's death—in the Old Norse sources, Váli.
Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda refers to Rindr as the mother of Váli and one of the ásynjur (goddesses). The most detailed account is in Book III of the Gesta Danorum, written by Saxo Grammaticus around the early 13th century. There she is called Rinda and is the daughter of the King of the Ruthenians. After Balderus' death Odin consulted seers on how to get revenge. On their advice Odin went to the Ruthenians disguised as a warrior called Roster. There he was twice turned down by Rinda. He then wrote runes on a piece of bark and touched her with it, causing her to go mad, and disguised himself as a medicine woman called Wecha, who was allowed to see her. Finally she fell ill; the disguised Odin then said he had medicine with which to cure her but that it would cause a violent reaction. On Odin's advice, the king tied Rinda to her bed, and Odin proceeded to rape her. From the rape was born Váli, who would later avenge Balderus.Óðinn’s rape of Rindr is described once outside the Gesta Danorum, in a line of stanza 3 of Sigurðardrápa, a poem by Kormákr Ögmundarson praising Sigurðr Hlaðajarl, who ruled around Trondheim in the mid-10th century. Like other such praise-poems, it is generally assumed to be genuine rather than a later pseudo-historical composition. Kormákr’s verse contains the statement, seið Yggr til Rindar (Yggr [Óðinn] ?enchanted Rindr), denoting Óðinn’s magical rape of Rindr with the verb síða. This suggests that Kormakr thought the magic known as seiðr was integral to Óðinn’s raping of Rindr, and is important evidence for Óðinn's association with this kind of magic. Another passage that may refer to the same event is in verse 6 of the Eddic poem "Grógaldr": þann gól Rindi Rani (that [charm] Rani chanted to Rindr).Rindr's name occurs in several skaldic verses and in "Baldrs draumar", where alliteration suggests it may originally have been *Vrindr; the etymology remains uncertain but there may be a connection with the Swedish placename Vrinnevi or Vrinnevid, near Norrköping.Sister ship
A sister ship is a ship of the same class or of virtually identical design to another ship. Such vessels share a nearly identical hull and superstructure layout, similar size, and roughly comparable features and equipment. They often share a common naming theme, either being named after the same type of thing (places, constellations, monarchs) or with some kind of alliteration. Often, sisters become more differentiated during their service as their equipment (in the case of naval vessels, their armament) are separately altered.
For instance, the U.S. warships USS Iowa, USS New Jersey, USS Missouri, and USS Wisconsin are all sister ships, each being an Iowa-class battleship.
The most famous sister ships were the White Star Line's RMS Olympic, RMS Titanic and HMHS Britannic. As with some other liners, the sisters worked as running mates. Other sister ships include the Royal Caribbean International's Explorer of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas.
Half-sister refers to a ship of the same class but with some significant differences. One example of half-sisters are the First World War-era British Courageous-class battlecruisers where the first two ships had four 15-inch (381 mm) guns, but the last ship, HMS Furious, had two 18-inch (457 mm) guns instead. Another example is the American Essex-class aircraft carriers of the Second World War that came in "long-hull" and "short-hull" versions.
Notable airships include the American sister ships USS Akron and USS Macon, and the German Hindenburg class airship's Hindenburg and Graf Zeppelin II.
The generally accepted commercial distinctions of a sister ship are the following:
Type: Identical main type (bullk, tank, RoRo, etc.)
DWT: ± 10% on the DWT (If the ship is 100,000 DWT, 90,000 to 110,000 DWT)
Builder: Identical shipbuilding company name (not the ship yard location or the country of build)The critical overriding criteria are the same hull design. For example, the popular TESS-57 standard design built by Tsunishi Shipbuilding are built in Japan, China, and the Philippines. All the ships of this design are classed as sister ships.
The International Maritime Organization defined sister ship in IMO resolution MSC/Circ.1158 in 2006. Criteria included these:
A sister ship is a ship built by the same yard from the same plans.
The acceptable deviation of lightship displacement should be between 1 and 2% of the lightship displacement of the lead ship, depending on the length of the ship.Stylistic device
In literature and writing, stylistic elements are the use of any of a variety of techniques to give an auxiliary meaning, idea, or feeling to the literal or written.Were
Were and wer are archaic terms for adult male humans and were often used for alliteration with wife as "were and wife" in Germanic-speaking cultures, and in the Old English construction werman, paired with the parallel wifman, denoting males and females respectively, which share structure with the current English woman. (Old English: were, Old Dutch: wer, Gothic: waír, Old Frisian: wer, Old Saxon: wer, Old High German: wer, Old Norse: verr).