Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Weekly writing coach: This is your brain on rhyme

I love a shiny new online wordsmithery tool as much as you do, but this week, a pair of posts let me see a new tool and get some new thinking about rhymes and how writers can use them. 

First, the shiny new tool:  RhymeBrain, which lets you enter words for which you want to build rhymes, alliterations and (yes) insults; this Download Squad post describes some of what you can do with it.  It claims to be able to "rhyme any word," so throw your best at it. (I entered "orange," and found a score or more decent options.)  Enter two words to get alliterative options.

Why would you need rhymes and alliterations?  Think about writing for speakers: alliteration and assonance are excellent rhetorical tools, and can be critical factors in developing messages that can become the core of many written and spoken products. (Check out all the 25-and-counting posts on message development over at The Eloquent Woman blog for more ideas and inspiration.)

Once you've built some rhymes, read The Poetry of Rhyming Compounds, where you'll get a chance to think through why compound rhymes work--and the varied contexts in which they're used in the workplace, from flippant shorthand to tension relievers in grim situations.  But keep in mind this note from the article: Rhymes and alliteration serve memory best, so bear that in mind when writing a speech for someone or making notes for yourself.  Make it easy on both speaker and listener with judicious use of rhyme to make it more memorable.

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