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Word Nerd: A is for Alliteration

Written by Rebecca Christian

Okay, I admi it. I'm an avid aficionado of alliteration. I say it's catchy; others say it's corny and contrived. But what would American popular culture be without Donald Duck and Coca Cola, The Great Gatsby and King Kong, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, Walla Walla, Washington and Begin the Beguine?

Here at Trad Home, two of our regular departments, Reader's Resource and Showhouse Showcase, are all about alliteration, and on our covers, we've beckoned you inside with  Great New Gadgets You've Gotta Have, Welcome to the Weekend, and Standout Design with Sit-down Comfort. 

I've perpetrated many an alliterative misdemeanor in the form of blurbs, those short descriptions of stories that appear either on our covers or under headlines in our TOC, or Table of Contents.

Among my worst are:

Sip some serenity in a teahouse in the trees

Posh picks for the pampered pooch

Preposterous!  But I'm still partial to

Bibliophiles' Brunch

since it conjures up such pleasant images. Speaking of, has a law been passed in North America that the only music that can be played at a weekend brunch is Norah Jones "Come Away With Me"? Amazing album, but why not Stevie Wonder's "Fulfillingness First Finale"? Gardening seems to bring out the goofiness in me, and I went gonzo on

Dallying with dahlias

Sturdy Sedums, Girl Scouts of the Garden

Behold the hardy hellebore

Next it was straight into the stratosphere with

Head for the hills (you'll pine for pretties from this home store)

Why didn't anyone stop me? Still, no one took umbrage when one of our other writers came up with

Under the Umbrian Sun

There was no disdain for

Destined to Delight

Nobody was flabbergasted by

Florida Fandango

Or suspicious of

Serendipity on Serifos

For truly tacky headlines, though, one must tarry in the tabloids:

Python Peeks Out of Potty

Tanked Teens Taunt Tiger

From a Donald Westlake novel, I also like

Beautiful Blonde Bludgeoned

The best tabloid hed I've read lately, though not alliterative, is I'm Pop, Says the Weasel, in a story about the John Edwards scandal. Here at Trad Home we aim for higher ground, but we can't all be Edgar Allen Poe, the melancholy master of alliteration in "The Raven" with: "deep into the darkness peering," "silken, sad uncertain rustling" and "rare and radiant maiden."

Hmm...Rare and Radiant Remodel doesn't have quite the same ring, but I wouldn't put it past me to run it up the flagpole and see if it flies.


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