Vilifying a Dotard

May is such a busy month for me . . . I’m not having the time that I would like to have to create a podcast. So, I’m just going to do a blog posting instead.

The first word for today is dotard. Dotard (doh-terd) is a noun that means a person, especially an old person, who exhibits a decline in mental faculties. Or a person who is weak-minded or foolish could be called a dotard.

If you called an elderly person a dotard, that person would probably have a difficult time remembering what they did a few days ago, might forget what you told them a few minutes ago, might have a difficult time balancing their checkbook because it’s too confusing. Calling them a dotard would be based on factual occurrences rather than just someone’s opinion.

If someone does something that you think is totally stupid and foolish, something that shows a lack of any thinking or reasoning ability, you could call the person a dotard. And it may be more your opinion of them than factual truth about their mental faculties.

Sometimes my children think I am a dotard. (Sometimes I think I’m a dotard . . .  (Atually I call myself a dough head and not a dotard.) If you happen to call someone a dotard, you possibly could be vilifying that person – if it was your opinion instead of factual truth.

The second word is vilify. Vilify (vil-uh-fahy) is a verb that means to speak ill of, defame, slander. If the person that you called a dotard really isn’t a dotard, that person could consider that you vilified them. That you defamed them. That you spoke unkindly about them and they might not look too kindly on your description!

And then, you should really do what my mother tried to teach her children – that if you couldn’t say something nice you shouldn’t say it at all. You might call that anti-vilify!


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