Dear K & K (or is it C & C? It could be Q & Q for all I know):

I've noticed over the many years that I've been listening to your program that you're always ready to slap the terms "moron" and "idiot" on each other. What occurred to me was that, although many people use these names rather wantonly, few actually know what they mean. So, I took it upon myself to enlighten society with a Treatise on the Difference Between the Moron and the Idiot.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "moron" as "a person regarded as very stupid," and "idiot" as "a foolish or stupid person."The difference should be quite apparent at this point. An idiot actually is stupid, while a moron is just thought of as stupid.

The question arises: can a person be both? When you call someone an idiot, you are saying he is stupid. But this also conjures up the moron part of things, which requires that you regard someone as very stupid. It appears that a person, having been called an idiot, has also inadvertently been called a moron. And from this, it seems that it would be impossible to call someone an idiot without calling that person a moron. But let's come in from the other angle here. If you call someone a moron, you are just saying that he is regarded as very stupid. You are NOT saying that he is, in fact, stupid, but just that he is regarded as stupid. So, in calling a person a moron, you can rest assured that you are not inadvertently calling him something which he may not be. From this, it appears that the answer to our question is yes, a person can be both, but only if the primary assumption is that he is an idiot. All idiots are morons, but not all morons are idiots.

And I hope that, having read this, you will proceed with care, making sure that when you call someone an idiot, he damn sure better be a moron, or YOU'RE the moron in the equation!

Hugh Daigle
another wacko from New Hampshire

[ As Read On Car Talk ]