Doc Yale

Wordcatcher1 - bloviate and obliviate
Words for our President-elect

Most of the time, Doc Yale likes simple words and plain talk.  But there are times when it is useful to have a wider vocabulary at your disposal.  For example when in the pub some yokel is boring you to tears trying to impress you with his deep knowledge of some subject you care nothing about it’s nice to have a little comeback like “you are quite the bloviater[1] aren’t you? I’m impressed by your adumbration of sagacity.”   Then when he gives you one of those looks like ‘”hat the hell are you talking about?” but is too arrogant  to ask you what you are talking about you, can add “you must have both an oversized vocabularizing cortex as well as hereditary eremophobia.[2]

Now as most of you who have encountered such yokels know, this may shut him up for a while or force him to turn to the person on the barstool on his other side.  But if it doesn’t  you can always come back with some more direct insults like “you have an amazing abililty to cram so many words into such small thoughts.”[3]    If he doesn’t get this you may want to call the bouncer—if he does you may need to look for your bodyguard.

But beyond the utility of such words Doc Yale is a writer and most writers have an interest in words—old words, new words, funny sounding words, words used in dialects and even beautiful sounding words.  So we have two new words to put in our new wordcatcher today—bloviate and obliviate.

Bloviate. I first read this word this week in, I believe, a facebook post, but when I went back to check I could not find the post.  In any case the  definition of bloviate is to talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way. It is of marginal relevance that Warren Harding, the 29th US President is often linked to this word, but to him the word wasn’t insulting it simply meant “to spend time idly’and he often used the word himself. But during his tenure as president he became associated with the verbose sense of the word because his speeches were so long-winded.

Obliviate.  Almost an anagram of bloviate but not to be confused obliviate as a verb is defined as the fact or condition of forgetting or having forgottenIt has apparently come back into English usage as a noun in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Obliviate as a verb means ‘to forget’.  Obliviate a la Harry Potter is a memory charm, resulting in the erasure of the recipients memory. 

So to put both words to use lets end with a sentence of wishful thinking:

Let us hope that our president-elect will emulate Warren Harding and will obliviate all the actions he said he would take in his campaign and spend his time as president just bloviating. 

[1] One who bloviates

[2] An irrational fear of stillness, solitude, or the lack of sound

[3] Believed to be first written/uttered by Mark Twain