An English In Kentucky


















Thursday  October 20th 2011    Tim Candler

    Always have liked the word 'cretin'.  For reasons that probably should stay beyond the horizon it makes me smile. It means one of two things.  Either a person afflicted with cretinism, or it means an idiot.  Cretinism is an unfortunate affliction that follows prenatal deficiencies.  An idiot, in some minds, possesses a mental age below three years, and in other minds is essentially your next door neighbor.


     There is always debate on the origin of words.  Some will say cretin comes from the French word crétin which means retarded or moronic, not usually in the clinical sense, and oddly a  crétin  is more often found in isolated mountain areas.  Others offer  christiânus as an origin of cretin, which was Latin for an unfortunate fellow, before being unfortunate became so fashionable following Constantine's conversion.  Myself, I know the word cretin from boarding school and the Latin teacher who rightly thought I was one.

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