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Richard Nordquist

Bloviation, Bicapitalization, and Invariant Be: There's a Name for It (#19)

By May 9, 2012

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In our extensive Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms, you'll find a name for . . .

  • the use of a capital letter in the middle of a word or name--as in iMac or eBay: bicapitalization (also known as CamelCase, embedded caps, InterCaps, and midcaps)

  • feigned ignorance, confusion, or bafflement (think of Socrates--or Lieutenant Columbo): dissimulatio

  • a verb form, characteristic of African-American Vernacular English (AAVE), that's used to indicate a habitual and repeatable action: invariant be

  • speech or writing that's wordy, pompous, and generally devoid of meaning: bloviation

  • a compound word that contains rhyming elements, such as fuddy duddy, pooper-scooper, and voodoo: rhyming compound

  • a system of punctuation intended to help people read a text aloud: rhetorical punctuation

  • an anecdote or short story that concludes with an elaborate pun: feghoot

  • three distinct words derived from the same source but at different times and by different routes of transmission (e.g., place, plaza, and piazza): triplets

More Words About Words:

Blackboard: examples of bicapitalization


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