No, this does not mean the dialect of an idiot. Nor is it a reading by Idi Amin. It is also not pronounced like eye dialect, which refers to spellings that represent normal pronunciations differently – stomick, must of, stoopid – to indicate something about the speaker, usualy that they’re uneducated and would spell the word that way, even though it’s a normal way to say it. But an idiolect might engender eye dialect when transcribed, depending on the writer’s estimation of the speaker. It’s all about the speaker, anyway. Whether or not he or she is an idiot, he or she will be an idiotes, “private person” (in Greek), and perhaps or perhaps not an uneducated plebeian (a further implication in Greek and the source of our idiot), but anyway having a particular personal way of speaking, differing at least a little from everyone else in vocabulary, syntactic preferences, and pronunciations. The word, after all, comes from merging idios “private, own, peculiar” with dialect. But it’s not idiodialect! That would be a beast to deal with – you’d run a risk of getting lost partway through. So it limits itself to one tap and one lick, followed by the back-and-front lock-and-key of [kt]. And there is a visual echo of dialect – and of course of idiot – but that o is a cooler customer than an a. And there’s that d with its tandem torches, i i, guarding the gate. The clinical tinge of ect – which starts words like ectoplasm and ends words like dissect – and the echo of derelict do not make this word any friendlier. Rearrange it to get diet and coil and you are no happer, though if you cite an idol it may at least seem exotic. But this word’s object may be as friendly as you make it. It’s all yours, after all, as individually specified as your tongue and your lungs: others may emulate, but you have your own, ‘n that’s enuf fer innywun.

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