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Toward a Rhetoric of Insult$
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Thomas Conley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226114774

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226114798.001.0001

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Traditional Principles of Insult

Traditional Principles of Insult

(p.31) Chapter 2 Traditional Principles of Insult
Toward a Rhetoric of Insult
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores some fundamental aspects of insult that are overlooked or misconstrued by the sociological, anthropological, philological, and philosophical perspectives. It presents examples to illustrate the variety and richness of insult-in-action, as well as help uncover some principles which might explain what holds that variety together, concluding with a number of basic recommendations for would-be insulters. The chapter suggests that it is possible to conceive of insults as fitting into the traditional discipline of rhetoric. But, on the one hand, the ancients discovered that long ago; and, on the other, fitting insult into those traditional categories seems hardly worth spending much time on, in any event.

Keywords:   insults, abuse, rhetoric

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