July 14, 2011

The art of the put-down is not what it was..

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

  • 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."
  • "He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr
  • "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill
  • "I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow
  • "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).
  • "Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas
  • "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain
  • "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.." - Oscar Wilde
  • "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
  • "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.
  • "I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop
  • "He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright
  • "I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." - Irvin S. Cobb
  • "He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." - Samuel Johnson
  • "He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating
  • "In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand
  • "He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker
  • "Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain
  • "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West
  • "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde
  • "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
  • "He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder
  • "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx
..to the above, let me add one of my favorite remarks about classical music made by Mark Twain:

"Wagner's operas are not nearly as bad as they sound."

-30-

2 comments:

Woodsterman (Odie) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Woodsterman (Odie) said...

If the phone doesn't ring it's not me.