The Nose Knows No Forgiveness

The nose remains personal observations insults

The Duchess de la Rochefoucauld was overheard commenting on the prominent facial features of an unfortunate girl, “God forgives. The world forgets, but the nose remains.”

“The Fork” Dishes Up Colorful Insult

Kierkegaard insult Martensen "Gob of snot"
Søren Kierkegaard (left) and Hans Lassen Martensen (right)

Søren Kierkegaard earned the nickname “The Fork” in his youth, due to his ability to identify an opponent’s weaknesses and stick it to him. Generally this took the form of surgical strikes from his rapier-sharp wit, but occasionally he could bluntly lob a cannonball, as well.

When moved to frustration in his debates with Hans Lassen Martensen, Kierkegaard dismissed him by stating, “My opponent is a glob of snot.”

Wise Counsel For Legal Counselors

Elihu Root (1845-1937)
Elihu Root (1845-1937)

“About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should stop.” — Elihu Root, attorney and Secretary of State under President Theodore Roosevelt and Secretary of War Under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

Is There a Third Option?

Thomas Brackett Reed (1839-1902)
Thomas Brackett Reed (1839-1902)

Illinois Representative William McKendree Springer quoted Henry Clay during a debate in the US House of Representatives, saying, “As for me, I would rather be right than be president.”
Speaker Thomas Reed immediately responded, “The gentleman need not trouble himself. He’ll never be either.”

The Life of Thomas Brackett Reed, chapter 21, page 246 (1914)