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” (

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