Essay: Where Have All the Insults Gone?

Trentino: I did not come here to be insulted. Firefly: That's what you think. —Duck Soup

In an age when the uptight are continually exhorted to let it all hang out and be in touch with their feelings, it is curious that no one calls anyone else a Byzantine logothete any more. That is what Teddy Roosevelt called Woodrow Wilson; and, while a Byzantine logothete is not the worst thing you can say about someone—it means a glorified accountant—it does suggest a certain largesse of contempt that is missing from modern life. A government official is fired from a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!