Monday, October 22, 2018

FT Alphaville Reader Calls For More Civil Incivility

Appended to FTAV's "Thoughts for the Weekend" post regarding Cleveland-Cliffs' CEO Lourenco Goncalves telling an analyst, on the conference call, " are an embarrassment to your parents".
Mr. Goncalves raised some other interesting points as well.

To which reader Simple Simon replied:
Simple Simon 2 days ago

Surprised that Goncalves didn't call Korn "horseface". Trump leading the way and Trumpian CEOs follow in his wake.
Now there are many who would express outrage at the eruption of insult and abuse in public discourse. They prefer from our leaders civility, decorum and technocratic mealymouthed platitudes.
Not I!! I long for more incivility. Not in the coarse and clumsy Trumpian manner but with witty, creative and linguistically ingenious barbs that our Elizabethan forbears were so fond of (and that we can still be entertained by when we go see Shakespeare at the theater).  What we need is more Fallstaffian vituperation! Good-natured but clever, tender but cutting to the quick. Repartee, gentlemen (and ladies), repartee!
We have had similar thoughts.

From 2013's "More on Jon Corzine and MF Global":
In yesterday's post "Jon Corzine and the First Two Rules of Risk",  I said "Corzine should be shot and his family stripped of every last penny of their wealth."
I forgot to add that his bones should be ground to dust and his lands salted so they lie fallow for a thousand years.

Even that doesn't quite express my thinking on the guy. For that we should probably turn to a writer*:

Corzine Oswald: What dost thou know me for?

Earl of Kent:
A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining....
 Oswald: Oh.
broken meats = left-overs
worsted-stocking = inferior [because worsted (wool) stockings were inferior to silk ones]
action-taking = litigous, running to the law instead of using manly self-defence
glass-gazing = given to gazing into mirrors
superserviceable = officious, a 'little hitler'
finical = nit-picking
bawd = whore master
the composition of = the result of combining
pandar = pimp
thy addition = your personal description
HT for the definitions: Listology 
*If you've succeeded in blocking out high school English that's King Lear, Act II, scene 2

note: Oswald doesn't actually say "Oh" in the original text, an oversight, I'm sure, on the part of The Bard.

Now, if the whole lily-livered whoreson thing is too drawn out for thee, MIT has a handy "Shakespeare Insult Kit":
To create a Shakespearean insult...
  Combine one word from each of the three columns below, 
  prefaced with "Thou":

        Column 1            Column 2                Column 3

        artless             base-court              apple-john
        bawdy               bat-fowling             baggage
        beslubbering        beef-witted             barnacle
        bootless            beetle-headed           bladder
        churlish            boil-brained            boar-pig
        cockered            clapper-clawed          bugbear
        clouted             clay-brained            bum-bailey
        craven              common-kissing          canker-blossom

Even easier to use is:

Although sadly it only delivers two-beat invective i.e. "Thou art a mongrel deformity", etc.

Enough to get started though. Change the world, one insult at a time.