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Civil Rebuttals

These "rebuttals" are from an era in the English language before disagreements were reduced to four-letter words. Oh, for the days of civility -- back then, even insults had some class!

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"

- Mark Twain

George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill:

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play;

Bring a friend, if you have one."

- Winston Churchill, in response:

"Cannot possibly attend on the first night, I will attend the second...If there is one."

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."

- Groucho Marx.

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."

- Moses Hadas

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."

- Stephen Bishop

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

- Oscar Wilde

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."

- John Bright

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.."

- Oscar Wilde

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."

- Paul Keating

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."

- Forrest Tucker

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."

- Irvin S. Cobb

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."

- Clarence Darrow

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."

- Mark Twain

Believe it or not, even God has used some clever language in describing people who deserve it...

Don't pay any attention to that good-for-nothing Nabal. His name means "fool," and it really fits him! - 1 Samuel 25:25 

A fool with words of wisdom is like an athlete with legs that can't move. - Proverbs 26:7 

The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow himself. - Ecclesiastes 10:12 

There is more hope for a fool than for someone who says, "I'm really smart!" - Proverbs 26:12 

And, of course, this favorite of all wise parents...

Don't be a fool and disobey your parents. Be smart! Accept correction. - Proverbs 15:5 


(Feel free to share this with your kids.)

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