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What is Assonance?Assonance is a stylistic literary technique in which neighbouring words repeat the same vowel sound.
Assonance is used for emphasis or to make a sentence more pleasing to the ear. It is used in every day language, poetry, and literature. To form assonance, we need two or more words that stress the same vowel sound. It's important to focus on the sound rather than the letter because it is the sound that catches the audience's attention.
- A mad bat circled the room. (In this example, the "A" sound is repeated in mad and bat creating the assonance.)
- The troop tried to salute without his boot. (This example repeats the vowel sound "O" throughout the words troop, salute, and boot to form the assonance. This also highlights the importance of listening to the sounds as not all the letters are the same, yet they form the same sound.)
- Hear, not fear, the wisdom of wizards. (We can see multiple instances of assonance in this example. The "E" sound is first matched and later the "I" sound.)
More Assonance ExamplesBelow are more examples of assonance:
- His fleet feet seem impossible to beat.
- Love lunges from the heart.
- I kept my eye on the prize.
- The actor took a bow for the crowd.
A Quick Test
- This test has questions.
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ASSONANCE CAN BE IMPACTFULAssonance is far more subtle than alliteration. Often, your readers will not spot it. So, if you're going to invest time in creating assonance, make sure it's obvious enough to be noticed. Used sparingly in business writing (e.g., once in a document), assonance can:
- Be used for emphasis.
- Be memorable.
- Make an impact.
- Make you look confident.
- A heavy levy is best evaded.
OVERUSE OF ASSONANCEWhile assonance can be a great way to make your writing memorable, overuse might portray your work as flippant. Use assonance very sparingly to ensure it stays effective.
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