"I digress" I have heard this term used so many times that I automatically associate it with the obligatory apology. It often seems as though the speaker is regretful, ashamed to inflict on an audience such awful, sleep inducing penance. Then why do it? Why do it with as much calculated intent? After all it is by definition an intentional means of changing a subject! Well of course, to serve a greater purpose, a grander scheme that if the listener can conjure personal suspense, if the listener is patient, if the listener can somehow remain conscious! If the listener finally EARNS his or her passage to the final moment of enlightenment, will the wait will have been worth it in the end? Is this what we are to believe and expect from those that dangle the carrots of knowledge and awareness in front of our satiated hunger? I am sorry when I digress, in fact I am guilt ridden, naked, as if without notice suddenly buried under layers of terms that mean only anything…to me. No I am not a victim, I am the obsessive strategist! Only I know that there is a passage to freedom, an end to this labyrinth, A final and glorious destination, luminous with clarity and meaning and a new vision that is certain to yield great ideals and belief?
- Ummm, ok. A digression that gets out of hand or comes only from free-association is more properly called a side track, I think. Some authors have pretended that their digressions have gotten out of control, but the good ones know exactly what they're doing. As for speakers who wander down the hallways of memory and personal experience without an Ariadne to get them back out again, they're just known as bad speakers. (Most of the time that "I digress" is uttered, I think it is a protest to an interlocutor and not an apology; the speaker has had a red herring swim by and has netted it and now wishes to steer the conversation back to the main business. This can be the case even in lecture halls, when a speaker has to address some obvious but irrelevant matter like what William Wallace wore under his kilts.) Geogre 22:51, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)