Thursday, April 25, 2019

When Insults Had Class

When Insults Had Class

These glorious insults are from an era "before" the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words:

o A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease." "That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

o "He had delusions of adequacy" -Walter Kerr

o "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." -Winston Churchill

o "I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." -Clarence Darrow

o "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." -William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

o "Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." -Moses Hadas

o "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." -Mark Twain

o "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." -Oscar Wilde

o "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one." -George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.

o "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." -Winston Churchill in response

o "I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." -Stephen Bishop

o "He is a self-made man and worships his creator." -John Bright

o "I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." -Irvin S. Cobb

o "He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." -Samuel Johnson

o "He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." -Paul Keating

o "In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." -Charles, Count Talleyrand

o "He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." -Forrest Tucker

o "Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" -Mark Twain

o "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." -Mae West

o "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." -Oscar Wilde

o "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

o "He has Van Gogh's ear for music." -Billy Wilder

o "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But I'm afraid this wasn't it." -Groucho Marx

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