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Years ago, I had read, and then looked up the word for this, but I have since forgotten it, cannot find it, and not being able to recall this word has driven me crazy since.

It's a rarely used or seen word that describes a person who has the ability to, or maybe it was an adjective for just the quailty of ones' speech to be eloquent, spoken with ease and at length and knowledgeably, or at least perceived as knowledgeable/educated on any given topic, via the quality of their speech.

The "at length" part I think was key to include since the word meant more than just being articulate or eloquent in general, it also described the ability to convey a depth of knowledge, whether truly possessed or not.

Something like "the author had the ability to speak _____-ly, and enrapture the audience," or, "the author was _____, able to keep the crowd utterly captivated"

Kind of like a verbosity, but in a good/convincing/skillful way.

It's not a compound word or phrase. It's not / I've searched the thesauruses for erudite / eloquent / articulate / well-spoken / persuasive / verbose / compelling / impassioned / insightful / perspicacious / trenchant... none of them really hit it on the head.

(I think the word was in a Grantland or TheRinger article, FWIT...) Maybe I'm mistakenly conflating the content of the article with another memory of some other word, I sure hope not.

Thanks for any thoughts!

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    Could you be thinking of loquacious? – Mynamite Jul 19 '19 at 18:48
  • There's also "Orator" which generally leans towards being very good at it. – Moo-Juice Jul 19 '19 at 18:49
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    So basically you are looking for a word that combines eloquence, a characteristic of well-crafted speech, with erudition, which describes the knowledge or wisdom conveyed. Good luck with that. – KarlG Jul 19 '19 at 19:47
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    Not wanting to get political, but google "talk like obama". It's far too complicated to express in a single word. – Hot Licks Jul 19 '19 at 21:29
  • Why doesn't 'eloquent' capture all that? – Mitch Aug 19 '19 at 18:26
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We can all provide examples of words we think fit the meaning requested, but this is an impossible question because there is no way any of us can know the exact word you read in an article years ago.

There is no word I know which captures both concepts simultaneously, and, if there is one, it is probably too esoteric to be useful. I would argue that eloquent itself is a good word for the examples provided. If you feel that it does not sufficiently convey the point that the speaker is knowledgeable, you simply may need to use more than one word to ensure that your audience appreciates the nuance of your point.

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No term will denote everything that you say, but a few terms come close. One term that may apply is extemporaneous(ly). Merriam-Webster gives one suggestion that denotes the situation and one that denotes the quality suggested:

1a(1) : composed, performed, or uttered on the spur of the moment : impromptu an extemporaneous comment

(2) : carefully prepared but delivered without notes or text

b : skilled at or given to extemporaneous utterance

1a(2) and b capture the sense you are representing. There is skill involved. One has to know their stuff and appeal to an audience to be extemporaneous or speak extemporaneously.

As a teacher of communication myself, I agree with this caveat under "Did You Know?", which specifies that extemporaneous speech is often prepared but unmemorized, with the goal of feeling eloquent and knowledgeable without being canned, stilted, or other common consequences of script-reading:

In general usage, extemporaneous and impromptu are used interchangeably to describe off-the-cuff remarks or speeches, but this is not the case when they are used in reference to the learned art of public speaking. Teachers of speech will tell you that an extemporaneous speech is one that has been thoroughly prepared and planned but not memorized, whereas an impromptu speech is one for which absolutely no preparations have been made.

I closely associate skill in speaking extemporaneously with the concept of sprezzatura, or the air of nonchalance that makes even prepared or trained activities appear natural and easy. Something spoken "at ease" would have this quality.

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'authoritatively' implies something about both style of delivery and content. Derived from authoritative: Cambridge online dictionary:

  1. showing that you are confident, in control, and expect to be respected and obeyed: "She has an authoritative manner that at times is almost arrogant."
  2. containing complete and accurate information, and therefore respected: "The book is an authoritative account of the Second World War."
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Consider elucidative, the adjective form of elucidate:

(transitive verb) : to make lucid especially by explanation or analysis
(intransitive verb) : to give a clarifying explanation
Merriam-Webster

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Expound

To expound is the ability to talk at length on a topic, to present and explain (a theory or idea) systematically and in detail.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/expound

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  • Just wondering who marked this down, and why, as I think it’s a perfectly good answer. – Jelila Aug 23 '19 at 8:19
  • probably the same person who marked mine down. Another perfectly good answer that I have now expanded. – JeremyC Aug 24 '19 at 21:27
  • Yes really! So I marked ;yours up 😊 @jeremyC – Jelila Sep 7 '19 at 16:03
  • Those marking this down, please go and look it up, it is a perfectly good answer, in my view. – Jelila Oct 8 '19 at 0:45
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Voluble

Voluble means talkative, chatty or naturally flowing in speech. Talking easily, readily, at length, fluent.

Example:

  • the author had the ability to speak volubly, and enrapture the audience," or, "the author was voluble, able to keep the crowd utterly captivated"

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/voluble

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  • Just wondering who marked this down, and why, as I think it’s a perfectly good answer. – Jelila Aug 23 '19 at 8:19
  • Those marking this down, please go and look it up, it is a perfectly good answer, in my view. – Jelila Oct 8 '19 at 0:45

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