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Happy Birthday, blue_panther!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk):

contumely
Language abounding with the bitterest expressions intended to subject a person to the reproach of others and to render him uneasy.
--Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775


Rudeness, contemptuousness.
--William Grimshaw's Ladies' Lexicon and Parlour Companion, 1854


Abuse, affront; from Latin contumeo.
--Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1749


Lincoln's Birthday
Feast Day of St. Julian the Hospitaler,

a patron of hospitality, who has long comforted such travelers as circus performers and other traveling entertainers. C. E. Humphry's Manners for Women (1897) offered readers advice that sometimes ranged from verbal one-upmanship and polite backstabbing to euphemistic pleasantries: "Years of mingling in polite society are necessary to its full development, and though a delicate sense of what is due to others is the very essence of tact, it is never quite perfect without a knowledge of the gentle art of snubbing. ... The 'retort courteous' loses none of its point for being courteous, and how agreeably it compares with the bludgeon style of warfare of some fair warriors."

If there was a flow of logic to that paragraph, I certainly missed it.

-The Gneech

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
laurie_robey
Feb. 12th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
It just keeps going and going and going and going, etc.
ski_fox
Feb. 12th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
So it's ok, even desirable to be a b*tch as long as one is courteous about it, and tact is knowing what other people have coming to them? What strange ways these mortals have...
blue_panther
Feb. 14th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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