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Specifically where the intent is to interest, excite or entice the reader. Such words often come across as 'not-quite superlatives', or create the impression that lawyers have been involved in wording the sentence.

For example:

In this great game, you'll get to play in a major cup final

Here the words 'great' and 'major', despite having positive connotations, actually serve to undermine the pitch.

Closest I've managed to get is 'damning with faint praise', but that doesn't capture the necessary element of own-foot-shooting.

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smell of the lamp

You have — say — toiled over a work with immense effort, working late into the night to revise and polish and perfect your creation. The end of all your efforts is likely to be a work with the vitality and freshness of a three-day-dead rat.

from Michael Quinion's World Wide Words blog. link to article

It tends to apply to the entire effect and not just one or two words, but it handles well the "... or create the impression that lawyers have been involved in wording the sentence." Quinion suggests it would align better if "lawyers" were replaced with "academic hacks".

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