What does logorrheic mean?

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Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: logorrheic…

Despite my habit of reading voraciously and widely, I don’t always accumulate enough words for this column. Thus, I’m always grateful when readers send me interesting words they find.

Today, my thanks goes to John Friesen, who sent me the adjective logorrheic, which he encountered in a Jan. 20/16 Washington Post story on Donald Trump. Here is how author David Weigel used the term:

It wasn’t immediately clear which of Trump’s logorrheic TV interviews Cruz was referring to.

From the context of the sentence and my knowledge of the politician, I could guess that the word meant “wordy” or “running off at the mouth,” but I wasn’t certain of the etymology.

It turns out that logos is Greek for “word” and rrhea means “flow” or “discharge.” Given the politician involved, I find it amusing that the same root is found in the words gonorrhea and diarrhea.

And if you want to read what Saturday Night Live alums have to say about Donald Trump, have a peek here. My fave? In Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Emmy acceptance speech, she quoted Veep, the HBO political comedy for which she won Best Actress—”What a great honor it must be for you to honor me tonight”—before revealing that Donald Trump was actually the source of that line.

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