WordSmithing: The Art of the Insult

“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in a way that they look forward to the trip.”

Winston Churchill – paraphrased probably……

I wrote this poem waaay back in high school around 1984…..

Sensuously tongue flicks
And winds its way
Around my victim’s mind
Violently pulling him down

The warm glow of victory
Surrounds the bruised ego
And inflates it slightly
Hungry forevermore

The delicious aftertaste
Of my tongue’s sting
Curls it way down
into the recess of my heart

My heart beats slightly faster
Appreciating the flow of warmth
And yet another layer
of ice fear is melted away

Encouraged by the warmth
My eyes search for another
Victim deserving of sting
Gleaming unmercifully when found


A few years ago, Joe Posnanski—formerly a Kansas City sportswriter, and today famous as a JoePa apologist—interviewed me about one of my books and posted…
theconcourse.deadspin.com|By Pat Jordan
insulting – now a university course for 4 credits….
“Lily-livered, action-taking whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue…” The tirade leveled at Oswald in King Lear by the King’s honest counselor, Kent, shows just how artful an insult can be. This course will survey the poetry of the put-down from the ancient arts of rhetoric to the present day, looking at satires, invectives and epigrams, as well as more casual, but equally artful, forms such as flame wars, the dozens, and MC battles. Aristotle maintained that all poetic speech was either praise or blame. We’ll consider the role that literature plays in assigning moral responsibility. But we’ll also be asking if scurrility and playfulness can be purposeful in other ways.
The Cornell University Courses of Study contains information primarily concerned with academic resources and procedures, college and department programs, interdisciplinary programs, and…
Mean humor is never funny.I find Russell Peters’ humor, in which he jokes about Asian stereotypes, funny because he is making fun of the stereotype, not the people. Russell is half Indian.I find Gabriel…
nerdyfeminist.com|By A. Lynn

the master

Jonathan Swift’s satirical essay from 1729, where he suggests that the Irish eat their own children.
Satire is the form of humor that holds people, or society in general, up for examination and ridicules the follies revealed. Good satire should offer improving examples or at least make us consider choices we often take for granted. In this sense satire is of huge value to society. While satire can…
There’s only one thing we know for sure about the future: It’ll be weird, and you can’t really prepare for it. Just imagine trying to tell someone in 2000 how to…
io9.com|By Charlie Jane Anders
humour it is about coping with the absurdity of life
Nina K Tryggvason's photo.

  •   They’re called Poe’s
  •  yup. parody is no longer distinguishable from genuine religion.
it is one thing to a person’s face
where you can take the measure of one’s opponent
it’s another online
because online
no one sees you cry
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2 Responses to WordSmithing: The Art of the Insult

  1. dykewriter says:

    I grew up in a literate and very sarcastic family

    it was always frustrating to me to be told in various writing classes that sarcasm is the lowest form of humour

    I object to this conceptualizing of sarcasm

    the purpose of sarcasm is not actually to merely inflict a wound on other person

    that is more the pot shot or insult

    sarcasm is not being mean per se in a personal way

    and it is not merely saying the opposite of what one means

    (which is not really irony either)

    sarcasm is not about rude; it is about jadedness

    it is about revealing a world view in a shattering glimpse

    there is a difference between bullying and belittling a person

    than altering their naïve perspective

    in as few and economical words as possible


  2. Pingback: Writer Chat 158: Spoof, Parody and Satire | dyke writer

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