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Stop the Meta-Bloviation
2005-03-23
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

It's not as if the word "bloviate" was invented the day of the Congressional hearings on steroids, but it sure seems that way. People are jumping on the bloviate bandwagon faster than they hopped up to go hayriding with Valparaiso in '98. Writing about Congressmen bloviating has become a bloviation in itself.

That's not to say we did not endure quite the Bloviathon last week in Washington D.C. Whatever your views on steroids are, "bloviate" was a perfect word to use with regard to the many of the participants, and I understand why people fell in love with it even and began using it even though it wasn't part of their normal vocabulary. Just noting here that the word's tipping point has sprinted by with the speed of a bloviate-powered missle. It has gone from clever to cliché that fast.

Comments
2005-03-23 11:32:04
1.   Bob Timmermann
It's a relatively new word too according to the OED.
bloviate, v.

Prob. < BLOW v.1 + -viate (in e.g. DEVIATE v., ABBREVIATE v., etc.); cf. -ATE3.]

intr. To talk at length, esp. using inflated or empty rhetoric; to speechify or ‘sound off’.

1845 Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) 14 Oct. 3/1 Peter P. Low, Esq., will with open throat..bloviate about the farmers being taxed upon the full value of their farms, while bankers are released from taxation. 1887 Amer. Missionary Sept. 258 And this is the New South over which Grady bloviated so pathetically? 1923 N.Y. Times 23 Aug. 14/4 We all like to bloviate against ‘corporations’, and there is no tenderness in New Jersey for the Public Service Railway Company. 1957 Amer. Hist. Rev. 62 1014 Occasionally a candidate makes some great pronouncement or drastic shift of position in such an oration, but more often he merely talks, or, as Harding put it, ‘bloviates’, being concerned more with the political effect of his remarks than with their meaning. 2002 Mother Jones May-June 82/2 Chávez seems enamored of the sound of his own voice, and he has an unpopular habit of taking over Venezuela's TV and radio stations to bloviate about his reforms.

2005-03-23 11:57:29
2.   Icaros
This thread blows.
2005-03-23 12:48:52
3.   scareduck
This, too, shall bloviate over.

On a related note, Matt Welch at Reason's Hit and Run mentioned that the English language's Canutes have been busy trying to rid the American tongue of recent Britishisms, to no avail but much consternation (their own):

http://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2005/03/nevermind_the_b.shtml#008888

Bloviation about bloviation, if you asked me.

2005-03-23 12:52:55
4.   Jon Weisman
Yeah, I read the original article that Welch is referring to and, although I'm fond of saying "WC," I simply didn't buy the overall premise.

Welch, by the way, used bloviate before it got tired ...

http://www.mattwelch.com/FreelanceSave/OCRroids.htm

2005-03-23 13:25:10
5.   Linkmeister
There was a blogspot blog called "The Bloviator" which focused on public health (which is why I was reading it); the domain somehow got hijacked and turned into a pretty radical right-wing site. The original proprietor then created a new site called "The Public Health Press."

This adds little value to the discussion; I just ran across it a while back.

On the Britishism front, I expect some deal between player and owner to someday be reported as "today the Dodgers and Eric Gagne agreed a contract..."

2005-03-23 14:17:21
6.   FirstMohican
I checked out "The Public Health Pres" - Pretty interesting.... especially when you read things like this: http://publichealthpress.blogspot.com/2004/11/news-links-112904.html

Poems about pandemics? Hmm..

2005-03-23 15:10:14
7.   The Saul
I don't see the fuss over the word "bloviate", it's quite a crumulent word...
2005-03-23 15:48:40
8.   Bob Timmermann
Not to pick, but it's a perfectly "cromulent" word.

The noblest soul embiggens the smallest man!

2005-03-23 15:53:13
9.   The Saul
Damn.
Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn.

I was hoping no one would catch the misspelling.

2005-03-23 16:00:44
10.   Bob Timmermann
Well misspelling a fictional word only causes you to spend an extra 200 days in Purgatory.
2005-03-23 16:25:58
11.   The Saul
http://www.overheardinnewyork.com/

Bob, scan down about half a page.

Ironically, I found this after our discussion. It appears "cromulent" has become, of all things, a cromulent word!
:)

2005-03-23 19:27:58
12.   gvette
Bloviate???

Isn't that the name of that meglomaniacal arch criminal bent on world domination that James Bond spent five movies in the 60's trying to stop?

2005-03-23 20:07:46
13.   Suffering Bruin
Bloviation is often endemic in a kakistocracy. That said... wait a minute, what am I saying?

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