When insults had class



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

Potential questions for Mofftiss at Sherlocked Con, feel free to add on to or use:

– “Clearly you admire Billy Wilder’s work, the man who directed a film called ‘The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes’, considering you went out of your way to name a character after him. Do you think Wilder would be proud of your contribution thus far to the Holmesian narrative and a 21st century audience? Why or why not?”

– “Earlier this year the BBC went on record to state how involved you are with advocacy for the LGBT community, is there a reason, then, you made every LGBT on-screen character in Sherlock, thus far, a sexual predator?”

– “One of my favorite moments - and I suspect yours too - in all of Doyle’s canon comes from the Adventure of the Three Garridebs. You perfectly captured the raw emotion of the original story in that brief nod during The Final Problem. What made you choose Garridebs for one of Eurus’ mind games?”