A deadly blutterance: How words are formed

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A screenshot of Boston Legal

Blasted, blithering and blooming. All lovely descriptive words with a possible to probable note of irritation in how they are expressed, depending on context of course.

These words remind me that the art of conversation could be in jeopardy what with SMS, Twitter and Google-speak.

As the age of digitisation overwhelms us tweeny and teeny boppers, young adults and even baby boomers are forced into a language compromise.

Generations are crippling language, literally cutting off its limbs to express themselves in words of three or four letters. Fingers become adept at superfast touch typing and there’s no time for long words (although predictive text does help, except when in haste you accept the wrong word, looking like it was the right word) and a quick burst of text is communicated.

In previous blogs I’ve written about how words are formed and combining which often, truth be told is shortening is one of the ways. From this technique comes blutterance – utterance and blast or something similar.

Most of the information on blutterance centres on Boston Legal, created by prolific screen writer David E. Kelly. He, through his characters, must be credited for the creation of this delightful expression.

Urban Dictionary defines it as n. cross between “utter” and “blab/blubber/bluster” and such. Meant to convey a sense of poorly chosen words spoken in passion.

This is the scene from Boston Legal:

You’re a Crane, get used to it. … I first saw the client and his wife together. … said because we were arguing, it would-it would qualify as an excited blutterance.
Bernie: She said what she heard wouldn’t be hearsay. She looked it up. We were arguing, so it would qualify as an excited blutterance.
Alan Shore: Blutterance isn’t even a word, much less a defense! You murdered someone over a fake word!

-Alan Shore (James Spader) Boston Legal

Boston Legal ran in 2005 and since then the word does not seem to have had much airtime.

I hope, having read my blog, you will start ‘bluttering’ with due regularity or at least use it in your writing.

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