Quote: “Torino’s Olympics, a topsy-turvy mix of marvels and misadventures…” USA Today
Figure of Speech: alliteration, the figure of picked pickled peppers. Also known (among a very few rhetoricians) as paroemion (par OH mee on).
Why did Figaro wait to do this figure, after 148 entries ranging from accismus to yogiism? Well, for one thing, you presumably already know it. For another, alliteration is the clumsiest, laziest figure of all, and an unfortunate favorite of under-caffeinated headline writers.
The USA Today reporter, suffering from jet lag and over-hyped American athletes, resorts to alliteration (“mix of marvels and misadventures”) in a frantic attempt to warm up a chilly extravaganza that few Americans watched.
Snappy Answer: “Say that five times fast.”