Lady Arabella Snark
Lady Arabella Snark, Honorary Chair of IYBD 2009

"The King of Torpor"

Lady Snark answers a question on the wisdom of being direct from Puneet in Bend, Oregon.

Dear Lady Snark,

Last week, my manager jammed our copier, and while waiting for a technician to fix it, tossed a toner cartridge from hand to hand until it hit the floor and exploded, leaving black dust on every surface of the room. I say he is an idiot, but my office mate Arlene thinks he is an imbecile. What would you call him?


Bend, Oregon

My Dear,

I wouldn’t call him either if I wanted to keep my job (and presumably you do, or you wouldn’t still be there). That doesn’t mean you have to be nice, though. Given his level of intelligence, you can probably get away with insulting him to his face with obscure vocabulary. This works especially well if you take the effort emphasize a few positive words, as shown below:

What you say: Your hardworking sudiferous glands must make you terribly appealing to others who share your pinguitude!
What you mean: You sweat like a pig and are thus likely to attract others who, like you, resemble them in heft


What you say: It’s really a great reflection on the company that they hire cretinous loobies like you.
What you mean: Hiring mentally and physically stunted clods like you demonstrates the company’s dedication to helping the less fortunate.


What you say: Wow, you’ve been so busy aestivating for the last three months! You are the king of torpor!!
What you mean: You basically slept through an entire summer of work. It’s almost like you’re unconscious.

Aestivating, I should add, is the opposite of hibernating, putting him in the company of lizards and snakes. I suspect that will not surprise you.


Lady Arabella Snark

From The Perfect Insult for Every Occasion: Lady Snark’s Guide to Common Discourtesy, 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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