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Polysyndeton

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Polysyndeton

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Polysyndeton is the use of multiple conjunctions close together.

Example

And you and I and our cats and dogs, together again.

She is so rich and so beautiful and so very stupid.

Tom or Dick or Harry and Jack or Jill or You.

Discussion

Polysyndeton may be used to deliberately separate and slow down listing or other description as the conjunctions separate and so highlight each item.

Polysyndeton is also common in verbal speech, where a person extends a sentence by re-using multiple conjunctions. 

Done well, polysyndeton creates connection and flow. Done badly, it creates monotony and loses meaning.

Polysyndeton can have an implication of summation or combination, so 'one and two and three' really means six. Likewise 'Mike and Jen and me' indicates a more cohesive group than 'Mike, Jen and me'. In this way, polysyndeton can be used to indicate a collective without naming it.

Classification: Grammar, Repetition, Omission

See also

Using Conjunctions, Asyndeton

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