Grandiloquence

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Grandiloquence is pompous boastfulness or self-importance, particularly in speech or writing.[1] It does not mean flowery speech, an extravagant vocabulary or excessive verbosity: indeed, grandiloquent language can be very concise and simple in its wording.

Examples[edit]

  • American grandiloquence is too well known. We can scarcely suppress a smile, when every Westerner whom we meet, assures us in the first moment of our acquaintance, that America is a great country.[2]
  • Just before the battle of Junin, Bolivar exhorted his troops in typically grandiloquent style, "You are going to complete the greatest task that heaven has been able to entrust to a man, that of saving the entire world from slavery."[3]
  • Popular histories vie with one another with grandiloquent labels like "the greatest generation."[4]
  • Few people today without a Medicare card have any idea who Clare Boothe Luce was, but in her prime, at the midpoint of what her husband grandiloquently proclaimed "The American Century," she was as dazzling a figure as any Hollywood goddess.[5]
  • The 'Great' in Great Britain has never been a grandiloquent title, in spite of constant misunderstandings; it was simply to distinguish it from Little Britain (Brittany).[6]
  • Shackleton wrote in his diary, 'Tomorrow we march south with the flag.' The unusually grandiloquent language was meant to boost his own morale. He knew the flag would not be planted at the pole. The best he could hope for was a near miss of a hundred miles.[7]
  • No less grandiloquent is the title Task Force, a group of forces assembled for a single task.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ See entry for grandiloquent in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 6th ed. (2007). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 1146
  2. ^ Pulszky, Francis and Theresa (1853). White, Red, Black: Sketches of American Society in the United States during the Visit of their Guests. Vol. I. New York: Redfield. p. 288
  3. ^ Blanchard, Peter (2008). Under the Flags of Freedom: Slave Soldiers and the Wars of Independence in Spanish South America. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 112
  4. ^ Kendrick, Stephen and Kendrick, Paul (2004). Sarah's Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America. Boston: Beacon Press. p. 259
  5. ^ Kosner, Edward. Book Review: 'Price of Fame' by Sylvia Jukes Morris. Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2014
  6. ^ Gundara, Jagdish (1997). World Yearbook of Education 1997: Intercultural Education. London: Kogan Page. p. 178
  7. ^ Hattersley, Roy (2004). The Edwardians: Biography of the Edwardian Age. London: Little, Brown. p. 401
  8. ^ Follett, Wilson (1998). Modern American Usage: A Guide. New York: Hill and Wang. p. 52