Fencing club begins annual instruction tonight rapidcityjournal.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
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Darren Byfield’s quip for former boss expressandstar.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
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Gloria De Luca
November 05, 2010
Shakespeare, in an early documented unkind remark, from "Coriolanus:"
"Your wit...tis strongly wadg'd up in a blocke-head."
The 16th century response is not worth mentioning.
But a great timely response is.
Embodied in the word, "snark:" biting wit, a combination of "snide" and "remark."
Illuminated by Lawrence Dorfman in "The Snark Handbook."
Ably demonstrated by the masters in the field.
The classic, by Winston Churchill, is perfection itself in his retort:
Lady Nancy Astor:
“If you were my husband I'd poison your tea.”
Sir Winston, deflecting the insult, cutting even deeper with humor and charm.
"Nancy, if I was your husband, I'd drink it."
Coming close to matching it is writer Ilka Chase's stinging reply to a young actress who cattily said:
"I enjoyed reading your book. Who wrote it for you?"
Darling, I'm so glad you like it. Who read it to you?"
Or this one, since it is still Friday, at last report or (retort), when Calvin Coolidge actually got the best of Dorothy Parker.
'Mr. Coolidge, I've made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you."
And it wasn't every day that someone got the better of Oscar Wilde.
James McNeil Whistler, who had just published, "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" had made a fiendishly clever observation and an envious Wilde said, "I wish I had said that."
Whistler's swift or Swiftian reply:
"You will, Oscar, you will."
Since few of us are able come up with the customized response at the required time, it is best to have a few retorts up your sleeve, even if you're not wearing sleeves.
In response to a perceived slight:
"I realize it's already too late, but have you ever entertained the idea of thinking before speaking?"
The best comebacks take the onus off you and boomerangs on the dolt that did it.
"I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public."
Or in any discussion with a creative type, where you feel vaguely patronized:
"The fact that nobody understands you doesn't mean you're an artist."
This will also snarkily do in the workplace:
"I don't have an attitude problem, you have a perception problem."
There you have it.
Some classic replies.
Some general ones you can use or tweak for any occasion.
Match them...if you're capable.
Are you going to take that lying down?
A Dram of Epigrams from Art, Poetry, Literature, Politics, Science and Religion thehypertexts.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Funny Insults humorsphere.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
History of the English Language englishclub.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Who would you like coaching you for the perfect reply?