Manual A Slap in the Face: Why Insults Hurt--And Why They Shouldnt

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He tells us that it's possible to insult someone by omission not paying a compliment or not inviting them to a party on pages 2, 11, 20, 28 and Many of my annotations are words to the effect of: But the examples, naturally, are amusing. There's Abraham Lincoln describing an opponent's proposal as "as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had been starved to death"; Dan Quayle being identified as "so dumb he thinks Cheerios are doughnut seeds"; and Kent in King Lear denouncing Oswald as "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 … beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch".

Slanders will be a matter of indifference; and those grounded in truth will be something you can learn from. All fair enough — but you might not think that the content of the above would sustain odd pages, even small ones. Thus, words or actions that count as an insult in one culture might not count as an insult in another.

Why Insults Hurt--And Why They Shouldn't

That said, there's no harm in a light romp through some famous zingers culled from Google or in this case The Book of Classic Insults , strung together with a bit of pseudo-analysis. But the missed opportunities! He touches fleetingly on ritual insults: But you look in vain for flyting; for Touchstone's wonderful speech in As You Like It about the Retort Courteous and the Quip Modest ; for the elaborate codes of behaviour of the German and Austrian student duelling societies. Please enter recipient e-mail address es.

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A Slap in the Face: Why Insults Hurt – And Why They Shouldn't by William B Irvine – review

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A slap in the face : why insults hurt --and why they shouldn't

Please verify that you are not a robot. Would you also like to submit a review for this item? You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: Preview this item Preview this item. A slap in the face: Oxford University Press, English View all editions and formats Summary:. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private.

It is a categorical dismissal. I couldn't summarize the book better than Sam Leith at the Guardian, who wrote: Sep 25, Rajashekar Chintalapati rated it it was amazing. Part 3 Chapter 9 to 12 of this book is very important as it says how to deal with insults, William B. Irvine referred Stoic concepts like insult pacifism to deal with insults. Aug 30, Jonathan rated it liked it Shelves: Light hearted and humorous take on the meaning of insults as seen through the prism of the authors love of Stoic philosophy: Insults sting because they are about silly things like status and hierarchy which are essentially meaningless with a proper Stoic outlook.

Best way to defuse insults? Ignore them which is surprisingly powerful and useful for all si Light hearted and humorous take on the meaning of insults as seen through the prism of the authors love of Stoic philosophy: Ignore them which is surprisingly powerful and useful for all situations because the insulter is flummoxed. The author is a professor of philosophy, specializing in the Stoic philosophers, so the treatment of how the Stoics approached insults is confident and compelling.

Much of the rest of the book, however, is airy conjecture. I'm pretty sure evolution has not fitted us out with a built-in "sociometer". You'll be on the right track if you think of this as yet another self-help book, with the welcome twist that it's informed by the writings of Marcus Aurelius! Fascinating introduction with great examples that really caught my interest.


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The middle part, however, I struggled to get through. And then, to my great relief, a very interesting ending with an enlightening discussion about insults, praise and the social hierarchy. And - importantly, how to deal with it. Sep 11, Hom Sack rated it it was amazing. More comprehensive than I thought. It has been and absolutely enjoyable read.


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  6. Jun 18, Ariadna73 rated it really liked it Shelves: This book describes the many, many, many ways a person can insult and be insulted. There is an almost infinite well of ways to insult out there. I wasn't even aware of that until I read this little book.

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    After half of the book describing all the possible insults, the author gives some advice on how to deal with them, and in sum, he says that the best way to self-protect is to self-deprecate. Laughing at yourself, make fun of yourself and say "thank you".

    A Slap in the Face - Hardcover - William B. Irvine - Oxford University Press

    The insulters will be disconcerted and yo This book describes the many, many, many ways a person can insult and be insulted. The insulters will be disconcerted and you will get away peacefully. My favorite insult was this: Soon it will be behind me". My favorite retort was this: Jun 09, Sarah rated it liked it Shelves: I think this book was about 75 pages too long.

    The author seemed to belabor the point in a few chapters. But I found the information fascinating. I've often wondered why people enjoy laughing at others and go out of their way to hurt others with words. I didn't find many of the examples convincing as they are out of my own experience but the I really appreciated the chapters on how to react to an insult. I especially like the idea of turning it into a joke on oneself, or completely deadpanning I think this book was about 75 pages too long. I especially like the idea of turning it into a joke on oneself, or completely deadpanning, taking an insult as a form of constructive criticism.

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    I definitely consider myself an insult pacifist. Makes me want to research the Stoics and see if Irvine was talking out of his hat! Apr 22, Nia Nymue rated it it was amazing. The book is quite a comprehensive one on insults. It covered different types of insults, which some may find boring but I think knowing the different kinds of insults can help us understand the underlying motivations behind them too. The later part of the book dealt with different pacificist ways one can react to insult and the Stoic philosophy behind this way of reaction that explains why pacifism is best. I'm very sympathetic to Stoicism so it was interesting to me to see how else I can appl The book is quite a comprehensive one on insults.

    I'm very sympathetic to Stoicism so it was interesting to me to see how else I can apply it to my life in specific ways. Dec 30, Kirk Johnson rated it liked it. I had hoped for more from this book, as it is authored by a professor of philosophy, but most of it is a masterclass in the obvious, and at times excruciatingly repetitive. Not until the last two chapters, when the author explores the Stoics, does it settle down and become something useful and interesting. Mar 24, Meryl Lim rated it really liked it.

    Aug 18, Laurie Bersani rated it it was amazing. Paul Patrick rated it liked it Apr 08, Mindy rated it it was amazing Jul 22, Josh rated it it was ok Jun 28, Erin rated it liked it Nov 04, Dirk rated it really liked it Feb 05, Jeremy Andrew Jaech rated it liked it Jan 27, Shanila Ahmed rated it really liked it Jun 28, Brandon Toh rated it really liked it Jun 16, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Books by William B.