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November 18, 2017 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"Pontificate"
Definition--Pontificate- v. 1. to speak in a pompous and overbearing way; to express one's opinion with arrogance.

Discussion--Some people don't know how to just speak to you, so they pontificate instead. Every word that they say is spoken with arrogance and an exaggerated surety. They express their own opinions with great arrogance, as if their opinions are always correct. These people can be quite difficult to deal with, as such bold and intrusive tones can really grate on one's nerves. I had a teacher once who was this way. He would always go against what the textbook said, saying that the author was an idiot who had no right to be published (I always wondered why he used the books, then). He would proceed to tell us "how it really was," and we were never quite sure who was right- him or the book. I suppose he got some kind of power trip from trying to override our textbook. Most people who are into pontificating tend to be high on themselves and like being in control. I suppose my teacher was no different.

If one wants to be heard, pontificating is not the way to go about it. No one wants to listen to some hothead speak as if his word should be put up right next to the "Great Oracle." Often times people find it necessary to pontificate because they have very little reason backing up their words. It's as if they think that if they speak boldly and arrogantly enough people will believe what they say. An interesting theory, no doubt, which fails to be true even if pontificated!

Etymology--Pontificate- In ancient Rome, the high priest was called a Pontiff. To pontificate means to "act as the pontiff." So, when you are pontificating you are acting as if you are the high priest. When it is put that way, it really seems foolish to pontificate, doesn't it?


   Foreign Translations
Dutch:  pontificeren
French:  pontifier
German:  predigen
Italian:  pontificare
Spanish:  pontificar

Jane Ellis      Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook

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