“Cant (noun): Language that is hypocritical or wearisomely hollow and predictable, such as stereotypical political jargon, repetitious promotional claims, or pious religious clichés, transparent, rote idiom or stock phrases; whining, singsong speech, such as that used by importuning beggars; argot of a group or lower social class. Adj. canting; v. cant.

‘But the official language of the United States is now cant. As I said at the beginning, the condition of the real language is critical.’ Jean Stafford, Saturday Review”

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

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