Ah, autumn is finally here! I can wear long pants without feeling like I'm dying, I'm able to open my bedroom windows, I can wear my new brown boots with the cool yet pointless buckles on the side...praise God, life is good.
That being said, I'm here to teach you how to properly insult someone.
The art of verbal abuse has a long and glorious history. Some of Shakespeare's insults are legendary--"They have a plentiful lack of wit" is outstanding. Also, as I learned from a book called Encyclopedia of Swearing while researching for an essay on hate speech, the Norse engaged in a game called flyting. Basically, two teams would take turns drinking and insulting their opponents. Whoever was able to produce the best insults while drunk was considered the winner.
Surely you're thinking, "Wait. You're a teacher. Insulting is a form of bullying, you should be completely against insults!" And I am. Mostly. There are very few circumstances in which you should insult someone; most of them are in fiction. But invariably, you will come into a situation in which you will need some sharp words. Normally it's when some fool who doesn't fully understand a situation decides to throw in their misguided two cents' worth.
1. Be careful. When you insult someone, you risk incurring their wrath. If they're prone to violent outbursts, it's best to leave well enough alone. And, almost certainly, the receiving end of your insult will try to fight back. Either have a comeback ready or be ready to surrender. If you're insulting a friend, make sure you know they're teasing. If they aren't taking it as a joke, then stop.
2. The best insults do not use profanity. Remember, whatever you say reflects on you as a person. Insults laden with curse words make you appear common and vulgar. Remember, anyone can swear, but not everyone can make a proper insult.
3. In a similar vein, have some class. "You just pretend to be sick so you don't have to come into work" sounds much better when rephrased as "I do hope your imaginary illness doesn't come back. You must be nearly out of sick days." Best advice, pretend you're British. Look up Blackadder on YouTube; Rowan Atkinson does a wonderful job of insulting pretty much everyone and everything.
4. Call out the other person's inadequacies--especially ones you know exist. Jesting about their appearance, lack of intelligence or social skills, etc. is usually a good idea. "Your incompetence is legendary" works well. If you can't find an inadequacy, just call them annoying. "I'd rather do taxes than continue this conversation" is a good way to make sure no one ever talks to you again. It might earn you an enemy too, so be careful.
5. If your insult is in response to someone else's insult, try to turn their insult back on them. For example, someone commented on my social media post and said that I should practice feigning Interest in someone besides myself. I replied, saying I meant the post and a joke and that they should practice feigning a sense of humor. If you want to end the insult exchange, a simple "I don't argue with (insert final blow here)" while walking away works wonders. For example, "I don't argue with people who don't know the difference between 'your' and 'you're.'"
Well, that's it! What's the best insult you can come up with? Post it in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to check us out on Amazon!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.