10 Writing Spices for Leaders

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Figures of speech to spice your writing skills.   Reading Time 3:12



1. Metaphor

A word or phrase used as an analogy
to identify another object.

People expect the clergy to have the grace of a swan, the friendliness of a sparrow, the strength of an eagle and the night hours of an owl. And some people expect such a bird to live on the food of a canary. (Rev. Edward Jeffery)

2. Simile

A word or phrase used to compare the resemblance
of two objects, usually following the word like or as.

Eyes can threaten like a loaded pistol, insult like a hiss or kick or by beams of kindness make the heart dance with joy. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

3. Onomatopoeia

A word or phrase used
to sound like a sound.

a high heel• The floor squealed beneath her high heels.

• The doors whined and groaned as the gale approached.

• The basketball player swished the jump shot.

4. Imagery

A word or phrase that evokes a picture in the
mind’s eye that increases memorability and meaning.

 • A thimble full of uranium has as much energy as a ton of coal.

• The human heart pumps the equivalent of 1.5 million gallons a year, enough blood in the lifetime to fuel the tanks of 21,100 Boeing jets.

Lightning_hits_tree• Lightning travels at 20,000 miles per second and generates temperatures of 27,000 degrees – enough energy to lift an ocean liner six feet in the air.

5. Triads

A word or phrase used in groups of three.

• The peaceful contribution of science—to healing, to enriching life, to freeing the spirit—these are the most important products of nature’s secrets. (Dwight Eisenhower).

• The complacent, the self-indulgent, the soft societies are all about to be swept away with the debris of history. (John F. Kennedy).

• I see one third of the nation ill-housed, ill-clad and ill-nourished. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

6. Repetition

A word or phrase repeated three or more times.

So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill in Mississippi. (Martin Luther King)

7. Rhyme

A group of words near or adjacent
to each other that have similar sounds at the end of the words.

• The campaign against me set record lows for mendacity, brutality and vulgarity. (Judge Robert Bork)

• Instead of merging corporations, purging workers and submerging the economy, we must… (Rev. Jesse Jackson)

• Ignorance gets corporations into trouble. Arrogance keeps corporations in trouble. (Raymond Ewing)

 8. Contrast

A group of words or phrases that are opposites.

 • Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half-shut afterwards. (Benjamin Franklin)

 9. Parallelism

 A group of three or more sentences structured
with an identical subject-verb sequence or assertion/result consequence.

 Inside, there is a personal potential waiting to be discovered. Inside, there is a center of strength waiting to be affirmed. Inside, there is a valid commitment waiting to be brought alive. (Rev. David Rankin)


A word or a phrase that describes
something as having human qualities.

 This is a year in which we call for a man who has torn from the throat of treason the tongue of slander. (Robert Ingersoll)

 Today’s ImproveMINT

Spice your writing to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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