26 Dec 2007

Stretching the language barrier

I saw this in a letter to the editor of the Guardian:
English lesson for the doltish

I read the letter "Dotish concerns of the brave" (December 19) and was at a loss to know what the writer meant by the word "dotish." So I looked it up in the dictionary.

Dotage means feebleness of mind (as in old age), doltish (adj) means dull, stupid. So a doltish fellow is a dull stupid fellow—as the writer maybe?

When will Trinis learn proper English?

Jawaram Narace

Washington, DC
Just to let Mr Narace know, 'dotish' is not part of the regular English words... rather it is part of the Trinidadian dialect... slang as it were. When writing for a Trinidadian readership, I dare say it is acceptable. We know exactly what is meant by its usage.

He reminds me of a certain other (PNM) J Narace... doltish.