Words: bloviate, v.

IT MIGHT cause pan-luvviedom apoplexy, but some of us lament the fact that Frank Rich no longer reviews plays. Dubbed the "Butcher of Broadway" by a petulant Rowan Atkinson, Rich now turns his firmly rooted, even orchidaceous style on other matters - always alert to those that bloviate.

He has even caused a Manhattan rumpus by reviving this 19th-century word. From blow, it means to swell up and declaim pompously. Although used by Gore Vidal, who probably got it from H.L. Mencken, it had been largely abeyant until Rich deployed it last autumn and then saw colleagues latch on to this supremely onomatopoeic word, also needed in an England where such things as the Today programme are rife with bloviators.

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