Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Today I think I’ll use… Polysyndeton


It’s fun to use obscure literary and rhetorical terms that nobody knows for techniques that we use all the time.

All polysyndeton really is is using a shitload of conjunctions in a sentence to give it an energetic, bounding rhythm. You stack up clauses with ands, buts, and ors and go to town. Here’s a good example:

“Let the whitefolks have their money and power and segregation and sarcasm and big houses and schools and lawns like carpets, and books, and mostly–mostly–let them have their whiteness.” (Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)

It really works, doesn’t it? Pretty cool.

Polysyndeton. Go ahead and use it!


2 comments on “Today I think I’ll use… Polysyndeton

  1. islandeditions
    January 23, 2015

    I didn’t realize there was a name for this technique. Cool!

  2. John W. Howell
    January 23, 2015

    Do I have ay anything for Polysyndeton?

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2015 by in Writing and tagged .
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