Alliteration: Figure of emphasis that occurs through the repetition of initial consonant letters (or sounds) in two or more different words across successive sentences, clauses, or phrases. Two kinds may be distinguished: 1) Immediate juxtaposition occurs when the second consonant sound follows right after the first -- back-to-back. 2) Non-immediate juxtaposition occurs when the consonants occur in nonadjacent words.

 

Immediate Juxtaposition #1: "I think a need a bigger box."

-- Taco Bell Commercial

Immediate Juxtaposition #2: "Metric Math Mistake Muffed Mars Meteorological Mission."

-- Wired

Non-immediate Juxtaposition: "Our Founding Fathers created a system of government of men, not of angels. No one standing in this house today can pass a puritanical test of purity that some are demanding that our elected leaders take."

-- Richard Gephardt, "Life Imitates Farce"

Further Examples 

Everett McGill: Hello...Who's the honcho around here?

Radio Station Honcho: I am. Who're you?

Everett McGill: "...Well, sir, I'm Jordan Rivers. And these here are the Soggy Bottom Boys out of Cottonelia, Mississippi -- songs of salvation to salve the soul. Uh, we hear that you pay good money to sing into a can."

-- delivered by George Clooney (from the movie 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?)

Austin Powers: "Isn't that what being an international man of mystery's all about?"

-- delivered by Mike Myers (from the movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery)

  "Was he not unmistakably a little man? A creature of the petty rake-off, pocketed with a petty joke in private and denied with the stainless platitudes in his public utterances."

-- [C.S. Lewis] The Screwtape Letters

"This generation of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen have volunteered in the time of certain danger. They are part of the finest fighting force that the world has ever known. They have served tour after tour of duty in distant, different, and difficult places They are men and women -- white, black, and brown -- of all faiths and all stations -- all Americans, serving together to protect our people, while giving others half a world away the chance to lead a better life. In today's wars, there's not always a simple ceremony that signals our troops' success -- no surrender papers to be signed, or capital to be claimed...."

-- Barack Obama, Fort Hood Memorial Service Speech



"With a determination for an execution consistent with our record, squaring our performances with our promises, we will proceed to the fulfillment of the Party's mission. God helping, it shall be accomplished."

-- Will H. Hays. On Citizenship

"Just like every other foaming rabid psycho in this city with a foolproof plan, you've forgotten you're facing the single finest fighting force ever assembled."

-- delivered by Dan Aykroyd (from the movie Dragnet)

Note: Contains both immediate and non-immediate juxtaposition.

"Now in the third year of his Administration we find more of our people unemployed than at any other time. We find our houses empty and our people hungry; many of them half-clothed and many of them not clothed at all. We find not only the people going further into debt, but that the United States is going further into debt. The condition has become deplorable. Instead of his promises, the only remedy that Mr. Roosevelt has described is to borrow more money if he can, and to go further into debt. And with it all there stalks a slimy specter of want, hunger, destitution, and pestilence."

-- Huey P. Long, St. Vitus Dance Government Radio Address

"Somewhere at this very moment a child is being born in America. Let it be our cause to give that child a happy home, a healthy family, and a hopeful future."

-- Bill Clinton, 1992 Democratic National Convention Acceptance Address

Note: Contains both immediate and non-immediate juxtaposition.

"In the United States today we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism."

-- delivered by Spiro Agnew and written by William Safire, Address at San Diego, 11 September 1970

"Our nation itself is testimony to the love our veterans have had for it and for us. Our liberties, our values -- all for which America stands -- is safe today because brave men and women have been ready to face the fire at freedom's front. And we thank God for them."

-- Ronald Reagan, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Address

Note: Contains both immediate and non-immediate juxtaposition.

"Step forward, Tin Man. You dare to come to me for a heart, do you? You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk! And you, Scarecrow, have the effrontery to ask for a brain. You billowing bale of bovine fodder!"

-- delivered by Frank "Wizard of Oz" Morgan (from the movie The Wizard of Oz)

Note: Contains both immediate and non-immediate juxtaposition.

Rhetorical Figures in Sound

Online Speech Bank

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American Rhetoric.
Created by Michael E. Eidenmuller.
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