Bloviate
Posted: 01 September 2015 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-nunberg-bloviate-trump-20150901-story.html

I’m interested in understanding Geoffrey Nunberg’s assertion: “There’s no “correct” way to use “bloviate” –it was never a real word to begin with.”
Why does he claim that it was not a real word to begin with?  Weren’t there many words “to begin with” that might be defined as, “not real words”, at their inchoate stage? Why is there no correct way to use the word?  What about all these technological neologisms being spewed out and entered into dictionaries? Are they real words?

What say you?

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Posted: 01 September 2015 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The whole thing is obvious fluff, as far as I’m concerned.

Come on, as soon as he says it’s “not a word” he goes on to say how he likes to use it. Silliness for the sake of an op-ed piece.

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Posted: 01 September 2015 11:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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One is tempted to say Nunberg is merely demonstrating the meaning and use of bloviate by providing his own example. ;-)

Generally I’ve enjoyed Nunberg’s contributions over the years. It might have been more accurate to say that the word bloviate was originally intended to be understood by speakers and hearers as not a real word, which therefore would intensify the sense that the bloviator was something of a poseur and blowhard.

Just for the record, Nunberg himself points out that Trump is not a typical or classic bloviator. In the era of the 30 second soundbite, it would be pretty hard to find someone who carries on in sesquipedalian fashion for hours at a time.

[ Edited: 02 September 2015 12:07 AM by Iron Pyrite ]
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Posted: 02 September 2015 12:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Iron Pyrite - 01 September 2015 11:59 PM


Just for the record, Nunberg himself points out that Trump is not a typical or classic bloviator. In the era of the 30 second soundbite, it would be pretty hard to find someone who carries on in sesquipedalian fashion for hours at a time.

TFFT

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Posted: 02 September 2015 03:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The whole thing is obvious fluff, as far as I’m concerned.

Yeah, the piece is more political and social commentary than linguistic analysis. But I share the discomfiture over Nunberg’s “never a real word” comment. Nunberg knows how this use of this phrase mischaracterizes and leads to misunderstanding of how language works. However he intended it, which isn’t clear, he should know better.

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