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