Sticks and Stones and “Dotards”

Re the sticks-and-stones contest, following the old adage that “sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”      Remember when some kid would spew off a string of bad words and mean but innocuous insults, and Mom or Grandma would sooth hurt feelings with the little rhyme…which in effect meant “if some kid hits you let me know, but if he calls you a bad name just laugh it off.”   Now like as not she might look around for someone to sue.

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il  has resurrected a good old  English word to toss at Donald Trump in insult: “dotard,” an Old-English word from the 14th Century. This cool new word, according to the excited media,  spurred linguists and English teachers all over the world to research the word—dotard.

Not that the word “dotard” is especially archaic, not to disappoint media writers that want to insinuate that Kim Jong-Il may be more knowledgeable than Donald Trump.  Within arms reach I find a variety of dictionaries, including a nifty little volume called New Oxford Spelling Dictionary:  The Writers’ and Editors’ Guide to Spelling and Word Division.  Edited by Maurice Waite, published by Oxford University Press, 2014.*

There, right in alphabetical order between the words “dotage” and “dot-com” is— “dotard,”   pronounced to rhyme with soldered, watered.    The etymology is from the same as:  doting,  one-who-dotes…as in a doting-grandfather.

It was a fun image to imagine the North Korean leader poring over his archaic English dictionaries searching for insults.

  • The most recent Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2004) also features the word “dotard” right in proper order.

 

 

Alone…by poet Samartha Ingle, re-blogged from her site

Today’s re-blog is this charming and meaningful work by poet Samartha Ingle. Thanks, Samartha.

Samartha Ingle

In love, at peace. 
Is it wrong to want alone. 
To not miss and not be missed. 
To want nothing and no one more.

Liar people say, liar maybe.

Refusing to acknowledge
this internal commotion
leads to dry eyes,
as dry as the ocean.

Liar you say, liar maybe.

At times it gets lonely,
at times of peace.
My heart for this,
my soul for this.

Liar they say, liar maybe.

Childhood heart didn’t
crave it as much.
Pushed in it still, 
circumstances and such.

Liar again ? liar maybe.

In love with the word,
at peace with the world.
Alone, though never lonely.

Liar ! liar indeed.

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The Pen…by poet Charles Yonkings

The Pen

There is a bang
as the gavel
strikes the bench.
My mind unravels
from the sentence
that is imposed
Just another case closed
and life as I know it ends…
Ten years thrice to
serve in the pen.

But then
I pick up my pen
and start to live again.
With each stroke of  ink
I transcend
my transgressions,
release
my repressions.
And for the first time
I am truly free
because of the pen.

©Charles Yonkings,2016

Extradition…by poet Charles Yonkings

Extradition

Click go the cuffs
clamped on wrists,
rubbed raw
from the irons’
cold embrace.
Legs shackled,
chained at the ankles,
Crammed
in a cargo van
Filled
with fellow fugitives
on a journey
across country
to fulfill fate’s wishes
and the desire of destiny.

©Charles Yonkings, 2016

Illusions…

Politicians
the greatest magicians
Grandmasters in linguistics.
Perform tricknowledge techniques
create laws perceived
so many ways.

A chess game played with precision.
The goal check mate
corner the king.
divide the family structure
by any means.
Entrap entrepreneurs
eager to eat
trying to reach
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Throwing stones at the penitentiary.
Filing for evidentiary
hearings.
The only thing suppressed
the ring
of freedom.

They claim equality
for all men.
In actuality they meant
just them.
At the time of writing
A country divided
built on the backs of men.
Owned
by the authors
steadily filling their coffers.
Ingraining an industry
thriving for centuries
in the minds of the masses.
Without it our nation crashes.

Flashes
of blue and red
shined by the white
placing stars in a box
jammed tight.
Click the lock,
toss the key.

Land of the free
enterprise
Right before your eyes,
Freedom’s
reflection
flashes
…just an illusion.

©Charles Yonkings, 2016