Saturday, April 7, 2012
G is for GOBBLEDYGOOK
I'll admit I was a bit stuck on 'G' for the Challenge. Then I remembered a handy book I have entitled, The Henry Holt Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Orgins, by Robert Hendrickson. Perfect!
According to Hendrickson, here's how gobbledygook came into existence:
'Gobbledygook means obscure, verbose, bureaucratic language characterized by circumlocution and jargon, and usually refers to the meaningless officialese turned out by government agencies. The late Representative Maury Maverick coined the term in 1944 when he was chairman of the Smaller War Plant Committee in Congress. Maverick attended a meeting, at which phrases such as 'cause an investigation to be made with a view to ascertaining' were rife. He wrote a memo condemning such officialese and labeled it gobbledygook, later explaining that he was thinking of the gobbling of turkeys while they strut pompously about.'
I love that a politician compared his fellow politicians to turkeys!
There are a few more letters for which I have yet to come up an idea. Maybe I'll be pulling Word Orgins out again soon...