A New Word

“Mentally deranged U. S. dotard”; let’s explore.

English is my primary language and I have a considerably better than average vocabulary. Considering my degree is in management and I never took a writing course that’s not bad. I read a lot but most of it is non-fiction which normally doesn’t do much to expand your vocabulary. It’s pretty much just the fact, (or at least the writer’s version of the facts), with extremely limited emphasis on the flowery prose. If I am going to learn a new word I expect it to come from an American or British writer. Last week it came from a Korean, Kim Jung-un to be specific.

One of his “war of words sorties” with Donald Trump included the quote that opens this article and of particular interest the word dotard.   I cannot remember reading or hearing it before. After I benefited from some reporting on it I realized that I must have in some long forgotten high school English class. My phonetics background is terrible so of course I had no idea of how to properly pronounce it. Interestingly, one of the suggested pronunciations is DOE turd. The juxtaposition of Trump and the second syllable is just too funny. That may be in questionable taste and rather sophomoric of me but I bet I got you to laugh, (and you’ll remember).

It appears I wasn’t alone in suffering this vocabulary gap because the news media has spent a lot of time defining the term in articles and broadcasts. Basically it means an old man in the beginning stages of senility. That agrees with the analysis of many an armchair physiatrist.

Kim obviously meant the remark as an insult but it appears he stumbled onto something that most Americans and Europeans would agree with – Trump has a mental problem. I am among those who questioned whether Trump was crazy or just acting crazy as a diversion. I believe there is diversion involved; however it is of fortune not prowess.

The problem is that while we all watch the three rings of the circus from within the tent led by Ringmaster Trump his crew is in the parking lot pilfering our cars. The good news is that we all learned an unfortunately useful word last week. I’m afraid it will remain useful until Trump is removed from office.

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