Winter’s on her way in Wisconsin. The nights start sooner. Viruses cause throats to ache and noses to sniffle. The north wind blows a chill through my windows.
I feel a touch of sadness when I trudge across the cold, gray ground to pack straw around my roses and put them to bed for their seasonal sleep. I need something to lift my spirits.
Sometimes writing is fun in its own sake. Other times, you need something more. A technique in writing, alliteration, is fun and sometimes quite whimsical. It’s an almost guaranteed mood lightener.
My son, home today with the flu, and I have been playing with alliteration, the repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of the words in the same sentence or phrase. Alliteration is often sprinkled into the writings of great poets such as:
Henry W. Longfellow in his "The Wreck of Hesperus"
“Then up and spake an old sailor, Had sailed to the Spanish Main,I pray thee, put into yonder port, For I fear a hurricane."
And Robert Frost in “Acquainted With the Night”
"I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry came over houses from another street "
And Shel Silverstein in “Eight Balloons”
"Eight balloons no one was buyin' -They broke loose and away they flew,
Free to float and free to fly
And free to pop where they wanted to. "
But the Alliteration that tickles my son and I is the kind that ties your tongue in knots.
1. Betty bought butter but the butter was bitter, so Betty bought better butter to make the bitter butter better.
2. The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.
3. I saw Susie sitting in a shoe-shine shop.Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.
4. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
5. A good cook could cook as much cookies as a good cook who could cook cookies
6. Six thick thistle sticks. Six thick thistles stick.
7. A sailor went to sea
To see, what he could see.
And all he could see
Was sea, sea, sea.
8. Sister Suzie sewing shirts for soldiersSuch skill at sewing shirtsOur shy young sister Suzie showsSome soldiers send epistlesAnd say they'd rather sleep in thistlesThan the saucy, soft short-shirts for soldiers Sister Suzie sews
9. Never trouble about trouble until trouble troubles you!
10. Knapsack straps (say this several times)
11. Friendly Frank flips fine flapjacks
12. Moose noshing much mush (say this several times)
13. I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish,
But if you wish the wish the witch wishes,
I won't wish the wish you wish to wish.
We invite you to try some of these. I bet they’ll make you smile. Do you know some tongue twisters you’d like to share?
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For more tongue twisters check out: http://www.uebersetzung.at/twister/en.htm, http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8136/tonguetwisters.html,
http://www.esl4kids.net/tongue.html (where my son and I found our favorites)