Friday, November 18, 2011

Can't think of a good insult thou droning elf-skinned malt-worm?

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing
- Shakespeare's Macbeth
Have you ever needed a really great insult and nothing came to mind. Well worry no more.

TastefullyOffensive.com offers the following Shakespeare Insult Kit  


If I look at the bottom of the chart I might come up with, Thou yeasty toad-spotted varlot!

Bottom Line

While the chart above is very clever and funny, personally I don't recommend insults. They can wound very deeply and permanently scar a relationship with a friend or relative. When used with strangers you're flirting with violence and inviting a fight. (Unless that is, you use a Shakespearean insult, in which case you'll most likely leave your target very confused).

When the ancient Greeks studied the art of debate and rhetoric they gave a name to verbal attacks against an individual - "Ad hominem". A person might argue, Don't believe what X says because he's an idiot. It's a reputation attack which ignores the topic under debate and proves nothing. Calling a person an idiot, or stupid, or one of the Shakespearean insults above does not win anything - it just hurts.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are correct about ad hominem attacks. It is a logical fallacy. However, the weakness every logical fallacy has is that when the individual use of that particular fallacy is correct the definition of logical fallacy insists that it is not. Kind of a catch 22 or a fallacy of fallacies. For example: The man who recently shot at the White house, Oscar Ortega. Search for his video on youtube and you will see he is deranged, an idiot or stupid. So we should ignore what he says. In this case we really should ignore what he says...

November 18, 2011 at 9:11 PM  

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