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Basically when someone jumps to a kind of related topic and talks about it very passionately for a while. What is the word for that?

As in, "I hate to go on a -------- but I want to tell the group about how the themes in this book relate to modern topics."

Not tangent or digress.

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    Welcome to EL&U. Why are tangent and digress not acceptable? I assume you see these as close to the intended meaning, so it might help to explain why they don't work. – niamulbengali Jan 22 at 20:58
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    Today, that's a rant. Used to be a tear. – Yosef Baskin Jan 22 at 21:08
  • One common way to express this idea is by starting with "I don't mean to hijack the conversation, but ..." – Sven Yargs Jan 27 at 7:38
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You are making an aside:

a remark or story in a speech or text that is not part of the main subject.

(Cambridge Dictionary)

the content of the aside would be a panegyric

a eulogistic oration or writing

(M-W)

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Orate or oration

I don't want to orate, but a man of your position has so much to lose; you can't afford to do it.

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I hate to go on a tangent, but...

tangent NOUN
2 A completely different line of thought or action.
Lexico

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    Should be "go OFF on a tangent" or (much less often) "AT a tangent" – Will Crawford Jan 22 at 23:47

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