MOROLOGY, MORONS, AND MORÓN

“He rightly praises himself who can find no one else to do it” Erasmus, “The Praise of Folly”

                Erasmus also said that it is proper for a moron to be the trumpeter of his own praises and “blow his own horn.” Many morons do exactly that. However, the word morology does not mean the study of morons but foolish or silly talk, nonsense.  It is a rare word taken from the Alpha dictionary but that term does not appear in the Unabridged Merriam Webster dictionary.

                  The Spanish word morón is not applied to very stupid or boorish persons or to sexual perverts like in English. The sexual meaning is now considered obsolete which is too bad because both meanings apply to many morons.   In the sense of idiocy apparently it is only used in Puerto Rico and in Panamá,  In Puerto Rico it also means a lazy person.

                    In Spanish a morón  is a small dirt hill and it is also the name of cities in Spain,  Cuba, Argentina, Perú, Venezuela, and probably other nations of Latin America. In the Great Buenos Aires there is a Senator Morón Avenue.  Morón is also a last name in Spanish.  During the XI and XII centuries in Spain there was a small Islamic Kingdom of Morón.  I am sure there have been moronic kings of many countries in history because crowns were hereditary and people had no choice.  In modern democracies there are moronic presidents elected by morons and also by non-morons for unfathomable moronic reasons.  Sad.

                          The Spanish word “desmoronarse”  is not related to the word moron in meaning  or in origin but one of its definitions,  related to nations or empires, is “to collapse, to be destroying itself.”  A nation could  “desmoronarse” by having a moron as its chief executive.  It has happened often in history.

                               The title  of The Praise of Folly, the book that made Erasmus so famous, was in its original Latin Moriae Encomium.  “Moros” means stupid in Greek and it was a pun on the name of Erasmus´friend Thomas More. In English moriae has always been rendered as folly instead of as idiocy.

                      In English the word moron to refer to idiots was introduced by the American psychologist Henry Herbert Goddard and was probably popularized by H.L Mencken in a Baltimore Evening Sun column of July 26, 1920 when he wrote:  “On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart´s desire at last and  the White House will be occupied by  a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”

 

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