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A Noble Spirit

October 2, 2010

The words embiggens and cromulent are uttered in an episode of The Simpsons called “Lisa the Iconoclast.” Here is more information from a Simpsons wiki on their etymology, and the following are the lines that were spoken by the characters:

Jebediah Springfield (Speaking during a film): A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.
Edna Krabappel: I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield
Ms. Hoover: I don’t know why. It’s a perfectly cromulent word.

Finally, later in the episode, Principal Skinner says, “He’s embiggened that role with his cromulent performance.”

The Language Log recently posted an entry that noted an article from The Economist uses the word embiggens. Here is how embiggens was used in the article:

If a future turn of events in Africa was seen as requiring the island’s military role to be embiggened and its facilities rendered much more secure, it might be convenient if the islanders had no legal right to remain where they were.

It appears that the author of the article used embiggens in a perfectly cromulent manner.

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