The term logorrh(o)ea is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary Online as “Excessive volubility accompanying some forms of mental illness; also gen., an excessive flow of words, prolixity.” The word is modeled on diarrhea, and the condition is one that seems to afflict some speakers, especially those who are habitually speaking to an audience. In a normal conversation between two people, foisting this habit of excessive loquacity on a single interlocutor assumes the lineaments of a linguistic grotesque and can prove exceedingly fatuous and tiresome, but politesse typically prevents the interlocutor from remarking on this unpleasant habit.

One forum in which loquacity of this sort is now commonplace is the classical concert hall, where performers and others routinely assume that every piece the audience is about to hear must be preceded by a short lecture on the composer, the players, etc. This was brought home to Y-H-B yesterday afternoon in Manchester Center, Vermont, where the director of a music festival blathered at otiose length before the beginning of a chamber music concert. It was bad enough that he went on interminably, but the form and content of his speech were so painfully ineloquent as to make at least this audience member squirm. The constant repetition of the words “incredible/incredibly” to qualify everything only made the experience incredibly worse.