A while ago I decided that I wanted to learn a new word every day. I even subscribed to A.Word.A.Day
It may sound lame to some people (like, really Delta get a life!) but we all have our quirks and mine is that I love words.
I especially love new words (by ‘new’ I mean words I haven’t come across before). New words are stimulating as far as I’m concerned.
So I found myself salivating when I stumbled upon the word: bloviate
I immediately looked up its meaning (although I had a general idea picked up from the context in which it had been used) and some of the definitions were as follows:
Talk at length, esp. in an inflated or empty way
– is a style of empty, pompous, political speech
– to speak pompously
– to speak or write verbosely and windily
There are more; you can look them up if you’re interested but for the purposes of getting to the point (i.e the insult) I’ll end here.
Excited about this latest ‘find’ (words have that effect on me!); I read through several articles online until I came across American writer, H. L. Mencken’s description of someone he considered to be a bloviator i.e President Warren G. Harding.
The description is sooo insulting but elegantly put that I thought it merited a blog post of this nature. But first, a picture of the alleged bloviator to ‘set the mood’…
Now that you have all taken a good look at him; I can now share H. L. Mencken’s view of this President:
He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.
I know insults should not be celebrated but for someone like me (who has this thing about words)… that sentence is one of the most elegantly constructed ‘put-downs’ I have ever come across. My only regret is that I can’t seem to get any sample of President Harding’s writing or speeches so that I formulate my own opinion on the matter.
Nevertheless, for fear of being accused of bloviating (I just had to use the word!) I will leave you to either enjoy this paragraph as much as I did or shake your head wondering whether the air in Britain disagrees with my mental faculties!
Happy New Year folks!