Nabbish

In the latest number of First Things, Anthony Esolen issues a enjoyable takedown of Nabbish, the bland language of the New American “Bible”, which for the last generation has been putting Catholics gently to sleep from boredom when it hasn’t nauseated them from disgust.

Nabbish isn’t as actively hateful as the Black Speech of Mordor – that would be far too assertive of preference, too bold and direct. Rather, it’s the language of pale timid faceless bureaucracy: forgettable, evasive, neutered, passive, preferring nothing when something is called for. In a word, lukewarm.

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