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Latin profundus (“profound”) + -icate. Apparently coined by American humorist James Boren (1925–2010) in When in Doubt, Mumble: A Bureaucrat's Handbook, New York, N.Y.: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1972, OCLC 561577.
- (rare) To make profound; to make a concept unnecessarily complicated.
- 1976, James H. Boren, The Bureaucratic Zoo: The Search for the Ultimate Mumble, McLean, Va.: EPM Publications, →ISBN, page 4:
- To profundify or to profundicate: A Borenverb used to denote the use of thesauric and other enrichment techniques to make a simple idea appear to be profound. […] Graduates of agricultural institutions tend to use "to profundicate" while graduates of ivy league schools tend to use "to profundify".
- 1979, The Proceedings – Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Annual Convention, Philadelphia, Penn.: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, ISSN 0736-7201, page 69:
- 1995 September 15, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), page E1:
- Profundify or profundicate the speech. Use Roget's Thesaurus to make simple ideas seem profound.
- 2012, Eileen Gambrill, Propaganda in the Helping Professions, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 305:
- Who has not suffered from “bureaucratese” – turgid unnecessarily complex descriptions that yield only to the most persistent. […] Examples include “mumblistic” (planned mumbling) and “profundicating” (translating simple concepts into obscure jargon) (Boren, 1972). The remedy is to simplify and clarify.