“I say, old man, just look at that chap over there, what on earth does he think he looks like?”
“Looks bally ridiculous if you ask me. Never allowed to get away with it when I was his age. What’s the world coming to I’d like to know? Harrumph.”
I love all these blustering, ex-colonel types. A dying breed I’m afraid now. In their ways, they were often comical, sometimes nasty, and always belligerent. I know a lot of people disliked what they were and stood for – many of them civil servants or lesser local officials and usually quite officious – but they have left a legacy of a way of life that was emergent at the turn of the 20th Century and on to the second World War.
These men epitomised Pomposity.
It is such a darned shame that the negative connotation of Pomposity – arrogance, self-importance, stiffness, haughtiness – should come from the root Pomp, meaning ceremony and splendid display . Its meaning being quite subverted.
It wasn’t just in their manner that the pomposity could be discerned, but they had a Tumescence – a pretentiousness in their use of the English language – that augmented the puffed-up presence they chose to portray.
The manner of speech was very often Magniloquent – lofty or grandiose and bordering on the bombastic and boastful. Such was the nature of the thing.
All of the above came about because I wanted to introduce Harrumph to the list of words here. If you haven’t yet surmised, Harrumph is a grumpy expression of irritation or disapproval, something which came easily to our pompous old chaps.
So, while these words aren’t truly “of the senses” they conjure up pictures of good old boys lost in a world that became far too modern for their and others’ liking.
The words are added to the word list here.