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turgid

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2001 11:34 am
by Archived Topic
In it's figurative meaning, Websters and OED both give this as meaning "inflated, bombastic, grandiloquent" and so on.

I and most of my colleagues had always supposed that it meant tedious and impenetrable.

I suspect that most speakers would also understand it thus. Does anyone know of any dictionary support for the "tedious" meaning?
Submitted by Phil White (Munich - Germany)

turgid

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2001 11:49 am
by Archived Reply
Turgid comes from a root word that means swollen, thus the extension to the meaning of over-inflated speech. Perhaps you're thinking of turbid, whose root word means confused and can mean lacking in clarity, obscure, muddy, etc.
Reply from Russ Cable (Dallas, TX - U.S.A.)

turgid

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2001 12:03 pm
by Archived Reply
I know it in the physical/medical sense, but all the colleagues I've talked to today (all Brits, all professional linguists) immediately said something along the lines of "tedious" or "boring" when I asked them what they thought a "turgid text" was. One did at least find that meaning in the Longman dictionary.

You could well be right about the confusion with "turbid", which is very much the direction our thinking goes.

I would still maintain that usage on the streets, at least in the UK, is at variance with what the dictionaries say and that it's not just a peculiar aberration of a small, isolated group of translators.
Reply from Phil White (Munich - Germany)

turgid

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2001 12:17 pm
by Archived Reply
Perhaps it is not so much a definition of the word they are describing as the reactions to turgid speech. Turgid or orotund writing or speech always engender slumber for me.
Reply from Leif Thorvaldson (Eatonville - U.S.A.)

turgid

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2001 12:32 pm
by Archived Reply
"Orotund". Love it.

Phil
Reply from Phil White (Munich - Germany)