Grandiloquence refers to an attitude of haughtiness, especially in one's means of communication.
-Olsen, David. The Words You Should Know. Holbroke, MA: Bob Adams, 1991.
THE WORD IN USE
"I may not always employ the grandiloquence my opponent does, but I believe I have a commonsense solution to the problem he has just outlined."
--Olsen, David. The Words You Should Know. Holbroke, MA: Bob Adams, 1991.
grandiloquence 1589, from L. grandiloquentia, from grandiloquus "using lofty speech," from grandis "big" + -loquus "speaking," from loqui "speak."
--Online Etymology Dictionary, http://www.etymonline.com
BLOGGIN' JOHN COMMENTS
Imagine you go to a meeting, where you hear three speakers, each one creating, to your ear, a radically different effect.
- The first speaker expresses thought with "fluency, force, and appropriateness, so as to appeal to the reason or move the feelings" [OED]: eloquent
- The second talks in a style that is inflated, over-the-top, bombastic: grandiloquent.
- And the third babbles on with silly, foolish verbiage.
Here are two possibilities.
- We have what might be termed a "not-word," ineloquent, which Webster 3 defines as "not eloquent : lacking in eloquence." The word is helpful, I suppose, in its "negative capability," but its insubstantiality ranks it among vague, lightweight descriptors.
- Happily, we also have a far more substantive alternative, a word with some condescension in it, stultiloquent, which Webster 3 defines as "silly talk; babble." This word smirks and sneers, as did its Latin progenitor, stultiloquentia, whose root, stultus, means foolish. Stultiloquent a good fit for describing the "silly, foolish" expression of the third speaker mentioned above.
Thus we have a set of three descriptors to cover the full range of possibilities:
- grandiloquence, with its errant pomposity and bombast;
- eloquence, with its fluency, force, and appropriateness , that effectively appeal to reason and the emotions; and
- stultiloquence, with the "fool power" (pun intended) of its robust root, stultus.