Word of the Day

Monday, June 24, 2013

asyndeton

\uh-SIN-di-ton\ , noun;
1.
Rhetoric. the omission of conjunctions, as in “He has provided the poor with jobs, with opportunity, with self-respect.”
2.
Library Science. the omission of cross references, especially from a catalog.
Quotes:
So how could Eddy, who could not sort his own, have made anything at all of the jumble of mixed motives and crossed purposes, ordinary and routine as heavy traffic, or seen design in their snarl of wills, feelings, and intentions, asynchronous and asyndeton as timber soaking in a logjam?
-- Stanley Elkin, The Magic Kingdom, 1985
The most brilliant general would be laughed at—albeit behind his back—if he couldn't report his accomplishments using chiasmus and litotes, praeteritio and asyndeton and a thousand other absurdities.
-- David Drake, Out of the Waters, 2011
Origin:
Asyndeton came to English in the late-1500s from the Greek roots a- + syndetos literally meaning "not bound together."
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