The Perfect Insult for Every Occasion: Lady Snark's Guide to Common Discourtesy

Overview

Forget apologies and excuses-sometimes, a well-spoken insult is the proper response. And now, with a cigarette in one hand and a martini in the other, fictional socialite Lady Arabella Snark (aka linguist A. C. Kemp) shows you how to use malicious language and stinging zingers to your advantage.

With just the right amount of pomp and humor, Lady Snark offers essential advice for gaining the upper hand at ...

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Overview

Forget apologies and excuses-sometimes, a well-spoken insult is the proper response. And now, with a cigarette in one hand and a martini in the other, fictional socialite Lady Arabella Snark (aka linguist A. C. Kemp) shows you how to use malicious language and stinging zingers to your advantage.

With just the right amount of pomp and humor, Lady Snark offers essential advice for gaining the upper hand at school, work, parties, and family reunions, including how to:

  • Defend yourself against know-it-alls
  • Answer rude questions in an equally rude manner
  • Deliver impeccable insults
  • Master weird and obscure put-downs
From dealing with drunks to sabotaging your husband's mistress, The Perfect Insult for Every Occasion is a funny and offbeat tour of the dark side of manners. Aggravating coworkers, nasty neighbors, mean in-laws? They're all rendered powerless when you have the perfect comeback-for any situation.
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Editorial Reviews

The Boston Phoenix
We're likely the sort alpha-individuals refer to, smirkingly, as a "meek-voiced door-mat." Yes, someone said this to us once. It was awful! Our insides were quaking, and yet we were unable to properly defend ourselves! But it doesn't have to be that way. Help has arrived, friends, and we are delighted to share the news. In this week's fishwrap, we wrote about Lady Arabella Snark's (a/k/a A.C Kemp -- writer, slang expert, and MIT lecturer) The Perfect Insult for Every Occasion. Basically, the book is our NEW BIBLE, and that's not something we admit to lightly. Particularly when our Jewish mom is maybe reading this.
Public radio's A Way With Words
"The Perfect Insult for Every Occasion: Lady Snark's Guide to Common Discourtesy" by A.C. Kemp contains lessons on using ten-dollar words to confuse and insult people. It's a humorous question-and-answer back-and-forth of what happens when high and low culture meet, with quizzes, example sentences, and smart-aleck remarks.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598693270
  • Publisher: Adams Media Corporation
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Etiquette expert Lady Snark grew to fame through her deportment class for inmates at the Haverford Women's Correctional Facility. Once a world traveler, the much-widowed and twice-incarcerated authoress now lives year round in Bar Harbor, as the conditions of her parole prevent her from leaving the excruciatingly dull state of Maine.

A.C. Kemp is the director of the award-winning American slang website slangcity.com, and her innovative classes on slang and American culture have been profiled in The Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor. She is a lecturer in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Read an Excerpt

Your grades have just come in the mail and Chad, your English 101 professor, has given you a D. This comes as a surprise to you because you have just spent the last fifteen weeks sleeping with Chad for the very purpose of avoiding that outcome. At first, you think this is a mistake, but Chad now refuses to take your phone calls and it is becoming apparent that he has played you. As a result, you decide that you will pay him a visit to express your feelings.

Let us examine six possible remarks that may have occurred to you on your way here from the dorm and analyze each for style and effectiveness. Given your level of scholarship, I apologize in advance if this section's resemblance to a multiple choice quiz makes you break out in hives.

*Number 1: I hope you die, crudball!

This is certainly appropriate for your social status as a college student; no one would think less of you for being direct. However, in this situation, it will not work. English instructors hear this insult so often when grades come out that it barely registers.

*Number 2. Marble hearted fiend! Most villainous knave! Spotted snake with double tongue!

This has the benefit of taking your audience into account. Even though his specialization was the Naturalist Movement, 250 years later, Chad will know these insults are Shakespearian. He may not hear them as insults, however. That's because what you are really saying is, "Here are some erudite hostilities that I trust you to recognize and understand based on your massive intelligence and comprehensive liberal arts education."

For this reason, Chad will not be thinking about the meaning of these venomous quotes;rather his brain will be whirring as he tries to remember which plays they came from. "Lear! Othello! And the last one is . . . uh . . . A Midsummer Night's Dream! Ha!! How clever I am." Note that up to this point, I have been too polite to mention that if you had remembered any of those quotations for the final, you would not be in this situation.

*Number 3. Me cago en la leche que mamaste.

How canny of you to think of this incredibly base insult from your semester abroad in high school. And why am I not surprised that all the Spanish you remember from that learning experience is an insult that means "I defecate on the milk that you sucked from your mother's breast"? Alas, you have misjudged your audience. Chad does not speak Spanish.

Number 4. The length of your dissertation title is inversely proportionate to the size of your manhood!

This is much closer to the mark; the title of Chad's dissertation was Trail of Tears: Symbolic Handkerchiefs in the Later Novels of Thomas Hardy, Including an Analysis of Meaningful Monograms and Floral Patterns. He is also still smarting that no one wanted to publish it.

From The Perfect Insult for Every Occasion, copyright © 2008 by A.C. Kemp. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications, Inc. Co. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

I. Common Discourtesy

II. A Fork in the Eye: Persons Who Erroneously Believe Themselves to be Better than You

III. The High Price of Free Food

IV. The Hostess with the Mostess is the Vamp Who Has Decamped

V. Love is Never Having to Say I'm Sorry for Cheating on You with Your Brother

VI. Nah, Nah, Cootie Boy!

VII. Your Family: You Can't Live with Them; You Can't Live without Their Money

VIII. Real Men Don't Wear Gold Lamé

IX. I Don't Like Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays

Legal Disclaimer

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