Dear Foreign Student, It was wholly a pleasure to get your letter asking for the definition of a word that mystified you in one of our editorials: bloviation.Nice going, Trogfather. Yas wants yer Uncle Guido to kneecap some fereners, too?
Bloviation is a fine word because it's so descriptive of so much of our political discourse. It goes back at least as far as H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), an American journalist whose work appeared largely in the Baltimore Sun. It means extravagant oratory, inflated rhetoric, empty words, buncombe . . . . It can be mighty useful when referring to political speech.
Examples of bloviation abound. Indeed, they're just about unavoidable, unfortunately. Here's our president celebrating his first 100 days in the White House at a press conference that seemed to go on even longer than it did, mainly because of bloviations like these: "I'd like to mention . . . how gratified I am that the House and the Senate passed a budget resolution today that will serve as an economic blueprint for this nation's future. I especially want to thank Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi, all of the members of Congress who worked so quickly and effectively to make this blueprint a reality. This budget builds on the steps we've taken over the last 100 days to move this economy from recession to recovery and ultimately to prosperity. . . . We have to lay a new foundation for growth, a foundation that will strengthen our economy and help us compete in the 21st Century. And that's exactly what this budget begins to do. . . ." and so endlessly on.
(Before editing that last sentence it read, "Trigfather,... Whew! That's how rumors get started.)