I don’t normally want to be insulted. But, I do sometimes enjoy reading about other people being insulted.
There’s a book series I’ve been reading with my youngest son. The series was written by a guy named Sever Bronny. It is a young adult series about three teenagers living in a medieval-ish world where they need to use arcanery (not quite the same thing as magic) to survive wars and other hardships.
There are several minor characters in these books who come up with some fantastic insults.
When I read the things that these characters say, I feel so thankful those characters will never address me! They are so mean, I’m glad I’ll never have to meet them. But, they make the people around them look so much better! The people who aren’t constantly insulting others honestly look more kind and appear more likeable when they interact with the foul-mouthed ones.
Being able to hold your temper in check is a virtue. Forgiveness, mercy and grace are all positive character traits. Being short-tempered is not. Do you want people to describe you as, “Easily Angered” or “Hot tempered?”
But, as long as the insults aren’t headed your way…
maybe it would be good to at least know them so that the next time someone is really being cruel to you, you can dish it out as well as being able to take it…right?
Some people just don’t respect you if you can’t give a good tongue lashing!
So, here are some of my favorites:
- You smell like a reeking codpiece!
- Call someone a doe-eyed knave, or churlish boor, base born brood (not quite as severe as calling someone a bastard, but not as over-used, either) or beast of burden (People would have to think about this a bit, unlike if you just call someone an ass. So, it would take a while to sink in…possibly giving you time to run away before they get angry…)
- Do not pester [me] with vapid inanities! (Instead of saying, “Me”, though, refer to yourself in the third person…by name. It gives a nice touch!) [Get to the point, down to business, etc.] or be carried out by the scruff, you sour mashes of mutt!
- Calling someone: feckless, feeble, irresponsible, uncaring, cold-hearted, cruel,
- Return to [your] rotten vagrant hovel! (Isn’t that much more interesting than, “Go home?”)
- Hurry [your] snail minds, [you] misaligned axles! (Telling someone they are slow isn’t nearly as creative as telling them they have “snail minds” or that they are “misaligned axles”. Saying, “There’s something wrong with you” isn’t close to being as vivid as “misaligned axle”, even though it means about the same thing.)
- Cross-eyed brigands or curdled lumps of milk…Just calling someone a thief would be matter-of-fact. They could just say you are wrong. But, if you call someone a “cross-eyed brigand”, then that person is immoral AND deformed, or stupid, and again, it is so picturesque! And who would call another person a piece of cheese? But calling someone a curdled lump of milk…that’s telling them they are just a waste…and yet, it would sound slightly funny.
If you were to memorize a whole list of these so you could just rattle them off, you could bring real joy to a spat! You could actually lighten a tense situation and do good with your “anger” and foul mouth.
My middle son has been having some trouble with a drug addict at school lately. The other student has gotten violent with my son and the teacher saw it today…but did nothing. My son can hold his own in a fight, but doesn’t want to fight. He doesn’t like fighting…or risking getting in trouble. I read him the above list of insults today and he felt much better afterward. It can be good to have a healthy store of ammunition for the right situation.
Writing isn’t only about being happy. It is also about getting the intended point across. If other people are being offensive, it can be good to be able to sink to their level as needed…and still have some fun with it!
None of the above is the same thing as using the F-word 10 times in a single email. I find that repetitive, unimaginative and boring. What does it mean, anyway? That the writer is angry and disrespectful? This is the impression that style of writing gives me, “F*cking this and f-ing that. I’M YELLING AND I DON’T KNOW WHY! If you don’t like it you’re an f-ing b*tch and you can f-ing screw off.” No, thank you.
I subscribe to the emails of a certain copywriter who curses regularly in his emails. One of his readers called him out for it and he reacted by sending a letter to his whole list telling them that if they don’t like the way he writes, they can unsubscribe. I haven’t unsubscribed yet, but I also haven’t paid for any of his courses. I like some of what he writes. I’m sure he knows his stuff when it comes to being persuasive in emails, but I don’t like being cursed at. I find it insulting. If he doesn’t care enough about being clear, creative, and professional in what he writes to his email subscribers, he doesn’t care enough about me to get my money. That’s his choice, just as it is my choice to not buy any of his non-free materials.