Monthly Archives: September 2008


Acervatio (ak-er-va’-ti-o): Latin term Quintilian employs for both asyndeton (acervatio dissoluta: a loose heap) and polysyndeton (acervatio iuncta: a conjoined heap).

Asyndeton: the omission of conjunctions between clauses, often resulting in a hurried rhythm or vehement effect.

We practice, we play, we win, we lose, we love it! That’s it. That’s our game plan. Let’s go!

Polysydeton: employing many conjunctions between clauses, often slowing the tempo or rhythm.

You told me you were my friend, and you let me believe you were going to help me, and you kept me thinking everything was going to be all right, and then you walked out the door, and you didn’t leave a trace, and all my dreams were shattered; and now you’re asking me to forgive you and welcome you back like nothing happened at all? Get out!

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Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (


Abbaser: [George] Puttenham’s English term for tapinosis. Also equivalent to meiosis: reference to something with a name disproportionately lesser than its nature (a kind of litotes: deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite).

New York–a little town on a little island in a river.

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Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.


Abating: English term for anesis: adding a concluding sentence that diminishes the effect of what has been said previously. The opposite of epitasis (the addition of a concluding sentence that merely emphasizes what has already been stated. A kind of amplification).

His new job is great, but it keeps him away from his family and friends.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (