Slight antedating of "bafflegab"?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Sep 15 18:29:28 UTC 2007

 From another list [source of the text below unfortunately
lost].  This might antedate OE2 by 4 days.

This word hit the newspapers and public notice on 19 January 1952,
the day after a plaque was presented to its inventor to mark his
creation of this invaluable word. He was Milton A Smith, assistant
general counsel for the US Chamber of Commerce. It was presented by
Michael V DiSalle, the head of the Office of Price Stabilization, who
rejoiced in the title of Price Stabilizer. (Where are people like
this when you need them?)

Milton Smith coined the word in a piece he wrote for the Chamber's
weekly publication, Washington Report, which criticized the OPS for
the bureaucratic language it used in one of its price orders. This
was picked up by the Bellingham Herald in Washington State, which
wrote an editorial about it, saying "Gobbledegook is mouth-filling,
but it lacks the punch of bafflegab. The inventor of that one
deserves an award." The newspaper made sure he got one by paying for
the plaque to be made and organizing its presentation.


The American Dialect Society -

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