Is there a name for this kind of speaking?

It’s like they’re telling a main story and as they’re telling the main story they Will go off on a bunch of other ‘side’ stories then get back to the main story. So by the time the person has finished the main story you’ve also heard about a hundred other side stories to go along with it.

small example:

" So let me tell ya’ how I met my Wife Sandy. I met my wife in Lake Charles. BTW Lake Charles has some of the best sea food restraints around. Their Craw fish is to die for… Anyway, we met at a company picnic. We both worked for…"

In a general sense, it is called going off on tangents.

I think I’d call them parenthetical statements.

They’re digressions. But the OP didn’t ask what they were called, but what the style of speaking that involves frequent digressions was called. The best I can come up with is “rambling”.

I think the style could be described as circumlocutory.

When I’ve heard people speak that way, more often than not the term I’d use is “annoying.”

Or you could try “anfractuous” or “circumambagious”, but I think discursive captures it more precisely.

Or possibly “in the manner of my wife”, whom SHAKES has apparently been [del]talking[/del] listening to. :wink:

I usually call it a shaggy-dog story, though that term is actually more specific (it’s about rambling pointless jokes), but it fits for me.

Hey, my **Not **brother! I was going to post “in the manner of my husband!” :smiley:

(And I know that 99% of the people on this board think astrology is a load of Dingo’s Kidneys, but I swear it’s a Gemini trait! Airheads, all of 'em.)

The quote mentioned in your example is someone who is very scattered in their story-telling - there is actually an art form to winding all the loose ends together, and making the whole thing a cohesive story. Garrison Keiller of “A Prairie Home Companion” is a master of this…

Why aren’t you wearing a tuxedo?

is that what they call those little rubberbands on the claws of live lobsters and crabs?

Hey, Sis. ::Waves::
Makes some amends for the number of times I’ve opened a thread and found you’d already took the keystrokes right out of my brain (or something… ::goes looking for more beer::).

Oh, yeah! Periphrastic! That’s another one!

“Tristram Shandy” is a famous example of the writing style you’re speaking of (although you’re actually writing of a speaking style, but I digress); digressions from the story line, then digressions from the digressions, and then a digression about digressions (or metadigression, I guess), etc.

Henry Rollins is another master of the form. If he and Garrison Keillor took a subway ride together somewhere, none of the eavesdroppers would ever get off the train.

I like to refer to this as “How I talk”.

Many years ago I decided that if I ever write my autobiography, I will title it “But I Digress…”

Eddie Izzard does this a lot in his stand-up acts; you think he’s just randomly darting off on tangents, but when he gets to the end of the story (or sometimes not until later on in the act), you discover that the tangent was actually a crucial fragment of the whole picture (either that or he’s very skilled at weaving them back in on the fly, which may be the case).

Only sort of. Imagine you are in a foreign country and you only know a little bit of the language. If you don’t know a complex word, you’d use several simpler words to arrive at the same meaning. This is circumlocution. It is often used in comedy when they’re spoofing foreigners.

How about Sheherezadian?