And perhaps this list is old and known by too many.
In case not, I could not resist posting these here, an ode to a loving respect for the written and spoken word.
These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.
"He had delusions of adequacy."
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
"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)
"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
"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.
"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
Irvin S. Cobb
"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others."
"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.."
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."
Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
'He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.'
'They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.'
Thomas Brackett Reed
"He has Van Gogh's ear for music.'
'He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.'
'A modest little person, with much to be modest about. '
The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."
He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."
A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."