Image via WikipediaInsults these days have definitely lost their flair. Resorting to four-letter words is easier, quicker, and certainly dirtier.
Take a look at some examples of old-time wit not lacking in irony - (and cruelty in some cases):
'A modest little person, with much to be modest about.' - Winston Churchill
'He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.' - Forrest Tucker
'I've had a perfectly wonderful evening But this wasn't it.' - Groucho
'In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.' -
Charles, Count Talleyrand
The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor: She said, 'If you were my
husband I'd give you poison,' and he said, 'If you were my wife, I'd drink it.'
'He has Van Gogh's ear for music.' - Billy Wilder
'He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.' - Abraham Lincoln
'He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the
dictionary.' - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).
'Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?' -
Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
'He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.' - Oscar Wilde
And my two favourites:
'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.
'His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.' - Mae West