320 years ago today, Giles Corey, the one man caught up in the Salem Witch Trials, was pressed to death by stones after he refused to enter a plea. Of course now, all these years later, we know that Corey and the women accused (and put to death) were innocent and the young girls doing the accusing were simply caught up in the scandal. Still, you have to wonder if any of the judges sentenced these individuals to their death, then wondered if perhaps they acted a bit extempore and ended up regretting their actions.
Adverb; from Dictionary.com:
1. On the spur of the moment; without preparation or premeditation
2. Impromptu; without notes or planning; improvised
She paused for a moment, but James just rolled his eyes. “It’s not easy to rhyme extempore, you know,” she told him. (The Ugly Duchess, Eloisa James)
Many schools and colleges offer classes in debate or, more specifically, extempore speaking. Such speaking requires skill and talent, because it is often difficult to form logical thoughts without any time to think things through. This word comes from a Latin phrase, ex tempore, which means “offhand” or “in accordance with the needs of the moment.” Literally, the phrase translates to “out of time” (ex, “out of” and tempore “time”). When someone does something (usually speaking) extempore, they are doing so “out of time” and with no prior preparation.
Your turn, bookworms – have you ever participated in an extempore speaking contest? Would you want to?
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