Hey there! I'm Vivian. Sometimes I write about life and sometimes I write about teaching.

Last month was 2-22-22 Twosday and I forgot to wear a tutu, didn’t eat a taco, and never got around to drinking a margarita (it was also International Margarita Day). But today is 3-3 so I’m going to have my own celebration of the number 3 because according to Schoolhouse Rock, three is a magic number.

As a writing technique, I love the magic of three. Well, who doesn’t really? As Roy Peter Clark says in Writing Tools: 55 Essential Writing Strategies for Every Writer:

In our language and culture, three provides a sense of the whole:
Beginning, middle, and end.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Moe, Larry, and Curly.
Tinkers to Evers to Chance.
A priest, a minister, and a rabbi.
Executive, legislative, judicial.
The Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

Clark, Roy Peter. Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer (p. 100). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

Even though I love it, I can’t think of many other examples right now. =/
But here are a few that come to mind:
• “…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (Declaration of Independence)
• Three Musketeers (okay, the candybar, not the book; does that still count?)
• “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” (MLK Jr. I Have a Dream Speech)
• All the examples from Barack Obama’s DNC speech in 2004.

Are you drawn to the magic of three? Do you have any favorite examples? Do you use it in your own writing?

  1. TammyB says:

    The magic of 3 is powerful! I come back to it often as well!

  2. arjeha says:

    I like how you focus on the positives of the number 3. Maybe it is because of the mood I am in, but I also see some bad associations with the number as well. Bad things happen in 3s. But then, there are those 3 little words I tell my wife everyday, “I love you”. I think I will focus on the good and not the bad 3s.

  3. 3 IS the magic number! I appreciate you linking in the School House Rock video as i grew up with that stuff. I’m not into that kind of numerology, but given your examples, there’s something to be said about the number 3!

    Thank you for sharing today! 🙂

  4. True story: I started humming the song when I saw your title! I loved those schoolhouse rock videos. It’s almost embarrassing to know how many of them I could still sing by heart. Thanks for the throwback!



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