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extemporaneous Options
Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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(adjective) Carried out or performed with little or no preparation.

Synonyms: impromptu, off-the-cuff, offhand, unrehearsed, ad-lib

Usage: Though she had not practiced for some time, Mary's extemporaneous piano recital wowed her dinner guests.
Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2014 7:43:10 AM
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I've lived an extemporaneous life. I don't know why. I guess I just wasn't prepared for it.
Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2014 8:02:10 AM
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Some super strict sources see a difference between "extemporaneous" and "impromptu."

The difference, according to those sources, lies in the matter of preparation.


If a politician goes to dinner, and the diners there suddenly demand that he give a little talk, that would definitely be an IMPROMPTU speech. He went to the restaurant to enjoy a nice dinner. He is unexpectedly asked to give "a few words." So -- being a good pol -- he throws together a five-minute talk full of platitudes and cliches. Everyone applauds, and he returns to his dinner.


"Extemporaneous," according to those strict sources, is a little different.

Let's say that the politician is asked to speak to the graduating class of a secondary school next week.

The pol says that he is really too busy to prepare a speech.

The principal (head teacher) might reply: That's OK. We do not expect a formal speech. A few extemporaneous remarks would be fine."

That is, the pol would come with a few notes and just make some comments in a rather informal manner based on glancing at his notes. He was prepared in a sense, but he did not deliver a prepared speech.

Personally, I like that distinction.

P.S. I recently watched Prime Minister's Questions on TV (when the British prime minister has to answer questions from members of Parliament). Could we call his answers extemporaneous? That is, he has a general idea of what he is going to be asked, so he comes to Parliament with some sense of what he is going to say. I notice that Mr. Cameron did not look at any notes. He just spoke off-the-cuff. But I do not think that it could be described as "impromptu." Americans are astonished at how well British prime ministers can answer -- often with humor -- any questions thrown at them.
Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2014 11:00:19 AM

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"The life of a wise man is most of all extemporaneous, for he lives out of an eternity which includes all time."

Henry David Thoreau

The Realist
Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2014 10:26:47 PM

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The dancer came out on the stage, and gave an extemporaneous performance.
Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:19:49 AM

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Describing a length of time one has been separated from a former spouse. " Ah, I well remember my extemporaneous years..."
Posted: Saturday, July 5, 2014 8:40:55 AM
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An example of extemporaneous speech would be an informative or persuasive speech
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