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For example:

Person A says "Stop -------ing" because Person B person was intentionally trying to railroad the conversation. The key here is "intentional".

If it helps, I think the word I'm looking for starts with a D and ends with "ing".

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You're probably looking for digress, to deviate or wander away from the main topic or purpose in speaking or writing; depart from the principal line of argument, plot, study, etc.

There are various other words with much the same meaning - meander, wander, deviate, sidetrack, ramble, etc., but none are so tightly associated with discourse (particularly in speech).

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Close!! The word I was actually looking for was "dissembling". But my example wasn't quite right. Thanks! – Case Aug 5 '11 at 0:56
@Sharon: Digress is actually a much better fit than dissemble. You might check the definitions and some example usages. – Caleb Aug 5 '11 at 8:52
After further discussion on Meta, I'm removing this post as accepted since it doesn't match the current description of the question, and only partially matched though original, though this was the answer that was most helpful in getting to the actual solution, which is "dissembling". – Case Aug 5 '11 at 19:47

One option is deviating:

v. de·vi·at·ed, de·vi·at·ing, de·vi·ates


  1. To turn aside from a course or way.

  2. To depart, as from a norm, purpose, or subject; stray. See Synonyms at swerve.


To cause to turn aside or differ.

Another option, to continue your metaphor of railroading a conversation, is derailing:

intr. & tr.v. de·railed, de·rail·ing, de·rails

  1. To run or cause to run off the rails.

  2. To come or bring to a sudden halt:

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A term commonly used is "side-tracking" :

Stop sidetracking!

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The word I was looking for is "dissembling".

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In that case you were asking the wrong question. To dissemble means to conceal one's true motives, feelings, or beliefs. That's not at all the same thing as railroading a conversation. Which actually means to forcibly steer it in a certain direction and not allow others to change the topic, whereas I admit my digressing usually implies unfocussed straying from the primary topic. – FumbleFingers Feb 10 '12 at 2:23

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