How likely is it that a celebrated  man of  words like me could learn a valuable  vocabulary lesson from a certifiable whack-job like Kim Jong Un, the weird manchild in North Korea who doesn't even speak English? Well, that's exactly what happened this week during a war of words between Kim and his rival nutcase  in  America,  Donald Trump. In […]

 

How likely is it that a celebrated  man of  words like me could learn a valuable  vocabulary lesson from a certifiable whack-job like Kim Jong Un, the weird manchild in North Korea who doesn't even speak English?

Well, that's exactly what happened this week during a war of words between Kim and his rival nutcase  in  America,  Donald Trump.

In one of Kim's nasty exchanges with Trump the other day, he asserted — or rather, his translators asserted — that the American president is a “dotard.”

That's a centuries-old reference to, according to my dictionary, “a person in his   dotage.” And, of course, “dotage,” a much more common word, is defined as “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.”

So, what we have here is the younger of two rivals mocking the other  as a doddering old fool — a dotard.

There's probably great  truth  in that assertion. Kim is  an utter moron, for sure.   But so  is Trump. The difference is that Kim is too young to be a dotard. He's just a butthead whose lunacy has nothing to do with his age. Trump, on the other hand, seems to get weirder as he moves further into his   70s.

One thing seems certain  in all of this: The word “dotard” probably will be more widely used hereafter, if only because of the attention it's  gained as an insult from Kim.

But it also  occurs to me that  I have cause to worry that I, too, am becoming a dotard.

I'm a few years older than The Donald — and probably a lot smarter to begin with, which gives me more circuits to malfunction. Oh, sure, he's a billionaire and was elected president, but he's scorned worldwide as an idiot. I wouldn't trade places with him for anything.

Still, the fact remains that my mental alertness is not what it used to be. And the decline gets faster as I grow older.

Perhaps this new popularity for the word “dotard” will translate into greater public concern for us increasingly confused and absent-minded old people.

Hey! Wait a minute! I could appear on a telethon for dotards.