Is there a word for a thing that doesn't make sense, a shiny alternative to 'nonsense'?
I want to use it like: <-new-word>> politics, meaning stupid, nonsense politics.
Update: by 'shiny' I mean't non-vulgar, non-tongue-twister word.
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Depending on what you want with shiny, rare words with funny pronunciation and euphemisms could be used. With a rare word, the listener might feel less verbal violence than with a mere "crap". I suggest hokum:
or folderal (alternative writings: folderol, falderal), which has an ornamental property (shiny enough?):
nonsense, ornamental objects of no great value (Merriam Webster), from a nonsensical line in old ballads
Finally, in France, abracadabrantesque was almost forgotten, and was resurrected during a political interview. The word comes from authors and poets Mario Proth, Théophile Gautier and Arthur Rimbaud. It looks like poetry, and it is, so maybe more acceptable. It refers to magic (same root as abracadabra) turned into an adjective and superlative. This word was almost forgotten for a century. Then, a former president used it in an interview (Chirac ou l'histoire abracadabrantesque). The journalist wanted to bring a question on a posthumous testimony about his alleged frauds. He used this word to characterize the whole story as "utter nonsense", suggesting it was made-up. The forgotten word has now come to use for the pleasure of many, especially journalists.
Here are some uses for the words above, mainly webpage titles. Opinions are not mine:
There’s a word for that I’ve recently learned: malarkey (Merriam-Webster):
: foolish words or ideas : insincere or foolish talk
[M-W example:] He thinks everything politicians say is just a bunch of malarkey.
It’s an uncommonly used word: Google Books Ngram shows it used at 0.5% the frequency of nonsense. I you want something stronger and newer you can go for bullarkey. You don’t find it in conventional dictionaries, so we need the Urban dictionary here:
Total and complete nonsense; full of contradictions and completely ludicrous
“After the debate, the crowd felt the last politican's statement was complete bullarky and he had no right to run.”
"Nonsensical" would be the exact word you're describing, and I can't wrap my head around why you want to use something else instead.
(of words or language) having little or no meaning; making little or no sense: A baby's babbling is appealingly nonsensical.
(of behavior, conduct, actions, etc.) foolish, senseless, fatuous, or absurd: His nonsensical behavior was unusual for such a serious person.
How about absurdity or farce politics?
absurdity: the quality or state of being absurd
absurd: extremely silly, foolish, or unreasonable : completely ridiculous
farce: something that is so bad that it is seen as ridiculous
The OP's example:
absurdity politics, meaning stupid, nonsense politics
farce politics, meaning stupid, nonsense politics.
Absurdity politics has the nice feature that it parallels and conjures identity politics.
In terms of shiny words, I bet you could get away with hoopla or ballyhoo (which mean roughly the same thing. Look at froufrou or gobbledygook, too. Those are bright and nice. I suspect froufrou might be the one you want, due to the "ostentatious decoration" meaning. It's going to depend on what you're describing as nonsense, really.
unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing; nonsense.
Bullshit — M-W
noun, usually vulgar nonsense; especially: foolish insolent talk
"Don't bullshit me. Tell me the truth!"
"Stop bullshitting and tell me the truth."
Having little or no sense, use, or purpose:
speculating like this is a pointless exercise
[WITH INFINITIVE]: it’s pointless to plan too far ahead
More example sentences:
It beggars belief how anyone with any sense could buy this pointless drivel.
Whichever way you cut it, it's still too often a pointless exercise for anyone writing for the consumer press.
It's a pointless exercise in negativity by both the Labor Party and the Democrats.
An answer that checks all your criteria, both including nonsense in the definition, and specifically alluding to politics, are the pair of bunk (the 2nd word listing)
1. Humbug; nonsense.
or its original form, bunkum or buncombe:
1. Insincere speechmaking by a politician intended merely to please local constituents.
2. Insincere talk; claptrap; humbug.
a word actually derived from the political grandstanding by a particular politician in the 1800s.
A non-sequitur is a conclusion that does not logically follow from the premises. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur_%28logic%29
I don't know if preposterous qualifies as a shiny word as it's not new, but I like the alliterative sound of 'preposterous politics'
formal very silly or stupid:
I don’t understand exactly what you’re looking for (we’re still waiting for an explanation of “shiny”), but:
[Collins Dictionary] defines voodoo as
a religious cult involving witchcraft and communication by trance with ancestors and animistic deities, common in Haiti and other Caribbean islands
relating to or associated with voodoo
so Bush was saying that Reaganomics was related to witchcraft, and not sound theories and practices.
Garbage has multiple definitions that fit well (from Dictionary.com):
- Anything that is contemptibly worthless, inferior, or vile:
[There's nothing but garbage on TV tonight.]
- Worthless talk; lies; foolishness.
- Slang. Any unnecessary item added to something else, as for appearance only; garnish:
Specious has the meaning of "superficially pleasing" (i.e., shiny) but actually false:
1. apparently good or right though lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible: specious arguments.
2. pleasing to the eye but deceptive.
If the thing that you are describing attempts to appear to make sense by following the form of something that actually does make sense, then the word is "pseudo". This is usually used as a prefix or a hyphenated prefix, though, rather than a separated word. Examples: pseudo-science, pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-post-modernism. Okay, I made up the last one.
I'm afraid, though, that most people would consider "pseudo-political" to be redundant. Kind of like "pseudo-economics", since some people assert that economics itself is pseudo-science.
Thank you for your interest in this question.
Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?