Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wordsmiting

plat·i·tude [ plat'i-tood, -tyood ] n.
A trite or banal remark or statement, especially one expressed as if it were original or significant. See Synonyms at cliché.
Lack of originality; triteness.
[From http://www.yourdictionary.com/]

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pal·try [ pôl'tree ] adj.
Lacking in importance or worth. See Synonyms at trivial. Wretched or contemptible.
[From http://www.yourdictionary.com/]

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pal·ti·tude [ pôl-ti-tood, -tyood ] n.
1. A remark or statement so trite as to be insulting. An ordinary platitude is banal in the sense that the speaker is either a mental lightweight, or simply not trying very hard. By contrast, a paltitude is spoken by someone who not only doesn't believe it themselves, but also wants you to at least suspect that they are being insincere. A passive-aggressive dig, thinly disguised as positivism. A backhanded compliment.

Example: "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (chuckle) – this is working very well for them." –Former First Lady Barbara Bush, on the hurricane evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston, Sept. 5, 2005

2. A banal statement that actually means the opposite of what the speaker intended to imply.

Example: "Free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction." –George W. Bush
(So you're saying... America isn't free? Damn - I guess the terrorists won, after all!)

4 comments:

wendell said...

This is way to similar to one of my attempted word coinages: Bushword.
http://www.wendellwit.com/wted/#bushword

IRFH said...

Strategery

Josh said...

paltritude?

IRFH said...

Heh. Yeah, you caught me. I meant to leave the "r" in there. S'pose I could edit the post, but I think I'd rather leave it as is as a monument to my ineptitudity(TM).