Both the isoliteral and the isosyllabic are rhetorical devices, related to the rhopalic. In rhetoric, a rhopalic is a sentence in which each successive word is one syllable or one letter longer than the previous one. It is derived from the Greek word rhopalikos, meaning “a tapered cudgel or club.” Here are two examples of rhopalics:
A lucid manager organize unregenerate, uncooperative antiphrohibitionists’ incomprehensibility.
I am not sure angry people readily perceive happiness everywhere surrounding unencumbered, unpretentious schoolchildren.
An isoliteral, in contrast to the rhopalic, is a sentence constructed of words that have the same number of letters. Here is an example of an isoliteral:
Three letter words: Mom may run far and buy ham, pea pie, hot tea, and jam, but not rum, gin, rye, egg nog, ale, and pop.
Four letter words: Five very nice tiny cats purr, then meet with four huge, ugly, mean dogs that bark, just when dusk goes dark.
An isosyllabic, as you may have surmised by now, is a sentence constructed of words with the same number of syllables. Here is an example of an isosyllabic:
One syllable words: Sure, I had real work on hand, but it was not that hard. My goal: learn what makes film stars tick — tough job, yes, but you know me — up to the task.
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