blandiose


blandiose
(BLAN.dee.ose)
adj.
Relating to something that appears impressive or that has pretensions to grandeur, but that is actually bland.
Example Citation:
Delivered in the mellifluous voice of a didactic monodrone, each track is a blandiose blend of political plea and claptrap rap.
— Linton Weeks, "Get Down With the Public Policy Rap," The Washington Post, May 30, 2001
Earliest Citation:
The opening act, Restless Heart, presented a 45-minute set of synthesizer-glossed corn-pop that managed to be schlocky, grandstanding and dull all at once. The five-piece band drew appreciative whoops despite a lackluster performance made up mostly of blandiose romantic ballads in the tradition of such denizens of the pop dustbin as Firefall.
— Marty Hughley, "Judds give stellar performance," The Oregonian, September 9, 1989
Notes:
The coiner of this blend of bland and grandiose was almost certainly the writer Kenneth Tynan:
At a frighteningly precocious 17, [Tynan] had written that Laurence Olivier's Richard III "eats into the memory like acid into metal . . . slick, taunting and curiously casual," and he would later describe Ralph Richardson's voice as "something between bland and grandiose: blandiose, perhaps," and write about the "clockwork cunning" of a Feydeau farce.
— Geoffrey Wheatcroft, "All That Fizz" (book review of The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan), The New York Times, December 9, 2001
I don't know when Tynan wrote the phrase cited above. He turned 17 in 1944, but his prime writing years (at least as a theater critic) were the late 50s and early 60s.
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New words. 2013.

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