I live in the U.S. and have encountered many Americans who have the habit of speaking fast as if they are rushed. I want to say to my friend who has this habit

I find it difficult to keep track of and follow your _______ speech.

Now using "fast, quick, rapid" before speech sounds wrong. Is there a word for this?

  • 1
    ..to follow your rapid-fire English (or rapid-fire speech). And "rapid speech" seems okay.. Dec 23 '15 at 17:00
  • 2
    You could tell them (him or her): "Could you talk more slowly? I can't keep up with you." Dec 23 '15 at 17:22
  • 1
    Fast paced works well, I also like rapid there. Dec 23 '15 at 18:12
  • "jabbering" could work.... as long as your friend isn't easily offended :)
    – topo morto
    Dec 23 '15 at 18:32
  • 1
    To this native speaker, "rapid speech" sounds perfectly fine.
    – stangdon
    Dec 23 '15 at 18:57

There's nothing wrong with saying, "You're speaking too fast for me. Could you slow down, please?"

That said, if you really wanted a "special" word to fit your exact sentence, you could use the word "auctioneer" as a modifier:

*I find it difficult to keep track of and follow your auctioneer speech*.

Auctioneers are famous for speaking unusually fast (one NPR story began, "It's the familiar, but sometimes unintelligible voice standing out among all the rest: that fast-talking, number-crunching auctioneer"), and sometimes this analogy is used to describe people who talk rapidly outside of the auction hall as well. For example, a 2006 Boston Globe article about a political candidate began:

Sometimes he talks like an auctioneer, trying to cram just a few more arguments and anecdotes and ideas into each utterance.

A blogger talked about her hurried, impatient nature by confessing:

I am the sort of person that impatiently watches the toaster, walks like I am running and talks like an auctioneer. Doing anything slowly is against everything in my nature...

A reporter describes the astronomer he interviewed by saying:

He talks rapidly, of course. You know that. The Sky at Night only runs for 25 minutes. He has to maximise word content. So he talks like an auctioneer at 300-words-a-minute, snapping the end off words the better to cram them all in.

You could use this word in your sentence if you didn't mind being a little humorous in your request.

  • Auctioneer was exactly the word I was thinking of, too. I'm not sure there's a specific word for them, but the announcers who read the disclaimers at the end of some advertisements also spew out rapid-fire words.
    – Ron Jensen
    Dec 23 '15 at 20:37
  • @RonJ - You and I aren't the only ones; I found this quote on an online discussion forum: Some radio advertisements, at the conclusion of their pitch, add a 'legal disclaimer' at the end. Typically it's someone that is speaking at hyper-speed like an auctioneer...
    – J.R.
    Dec 23 '15 at 21:54

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