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.

Close your eyes, feel your heart, open your eyes, now start. Start being here, being where is was is, now and again.

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

After doing a little shopping, on my way to the parking lot I tripped in a pothole and I dropped my bag of oranges, and I skinned my knee, and I twisted my ankle, and I was humiliated, and I was late to work, and I got yelled at by the manager, and I’m going to hire a lawyer, and I’m going to sue Walymart!

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Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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