Polysyndeton (paulee-SIN-dih-tawn): Figure of addition and emphasis which intentionally employs a series of conjunctions (and, or, but, for, nor, so, yet) not normally found in successive words, phrases, or clauses; the deliberate and excessive use of conjunctions in successive words or clauses.

 

 

Examples  
"In years gone by, there were in every community men and women who spoke the language of duty and morality and loyalty and obligation."

-- William F. Buckley

   Click for Audio

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good."

-- Genesis 1:24-25 (KJV)

   Click for Audio

"They all tasted to me like undersexed morons who had blundered or trickled into the wrong beds in automatic response to sexy advertisements, or to make themselves feel modern and emancipated, or to reassure themselves about their virility or their "normalcy," or even because they had nothing else to do."

-- C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

   Click for Audio

"It's [football] a way of life, really, to those particular people who are a part of it. It's more than a game, and regardless of what level it's played upon, it still demands those attributes of courage and stamina and coordinated efficiency and goes even beyond that for [it] is a means -- it provides a mental and physical relaxation to everybody that watches it, like yourself."

-- Vince Lombardi

   Click for Audio

"We must change that deleterious environment of the 80's, that environment which was characterized by greed and hatred and selfishness and mega-mergers and debt overhang...."

-- Barbara Jordan, 1992 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address

Note: Can you spot the conduplicatio?

   Click for Audio

"As soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers, in Congress and out, had concocted a story that I'd left him behind on the Lucian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three or eight or twenty million dollars, his Scot soul was furious."

-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt (on his dog, Fala)

   Click for Audio

"Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war -- not history's forces, nor the times, nor justice, nor the lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds of government -- not any other thing. We are the killers."

-- delivered by Katherine Hepburn (from the movie The Lion in Winter)

   Click for Audio

Rhetorical Figures in Sound

Online Speech Bank

Copyright 2001-Present. 
American Rhetoric.
Created by Michael E. Eidenmuller.
All rights reserved.