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Given that I know what "manically" and "laconic" are, I don't understand how the description "manically laconic" coincide with the sentence following it.

"Dick came out personally to get us, out of no evident motive but kindness. (he also talked nonstop the entire way, with a very distinctive speaking style that can only be described as manically laconic; the truth is I now know more about this man than i do about some members of my own family"

(Taken from "Consider The Lobster" by David Foster Wallace")

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I suspect there is a little joke here. "Manically laconic" is a pretty good label for the writing style of Foster Wallace himself. He is concise and precise to pointillistic extremes, and he goes on and on and on about these minute details, to great effect. – John Lawler Mar 4 '12 at 19:30
up vote 3 down vote accepted

"Laconic" means concise. Perhaps in this context, "maniacally laconic" means "able to convey an abnormally large amount of information with the minimum number of words, in a frighteningly enthusiastic manner"? In other words, the person talked a lot, but he does not ramble: he uses his words in the most efficient way possible. He is obsessed with efficiency(?).

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It reads to me that between being able to say a lot in a few words, and using lots of words, the man communicated an impressive amount of information during the trip.

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