An Introduction to Brachylogia

Brachylogia (derives from Greek brachy “short” and logia, “speech”, literally means “short speech”), is the use of concise or brief statement to express thoughts thereby eliminating conjunctions between single words, which results to a broken and hurried speech delivery.

In other words, brachylogia is the absence of connecting particles between single words, which are thus separated only by commasOpens in new window. This is comparable to asyndetonOpens in new window.

Notable Examples of Brachylogia
  • “Content may dwell in all stations. To be low, but above contempt, may be high enough to be happy. But many of low degree may be higher than computer, and some cubits above the common commensuration; for in all states, virtue gives qualifications and allowances which make out defects. Rough diamonds are sometimes mistaken for pebbles; and meanness may be right in accomplishments which riches in vain desire.”
  • Sir Thomas Browne

    In this passage we find no more words employed than are absolutely necessary. (De Mille)
  • They make a solitude, and call it peace.
  • Tacitus (Waddy)
  • Nothing is so fleeting as form; yet never does it quite deny itself. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now.
  • Emerson
Further Readings:
Silva Rhetoricae, Figures | BrachylogiaOpens in new window
Quintilian 8.3.83; Putt. (1589) 222 (“brachiologa,” “the cutted comma”); Day 1599 92 (“brachiologa”);
Garrett Epp (1994) (“brevitas,” “brachylogia”).