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Toward a Rhetoric of Insult

Thomas Conley


From high school cafeterias to the floor of Congress, insult is a truly universal and ubiquitous cultural practice with a long and earthy history, and yet this most human of human behaviors is not often the subject of organized and comprehensive attention. Viewed through the lens of the study of rhetoric, insult, this book argues, is revealed as at once antisocial and crucial for human relations, both divisive and unifying. Explaining how this works and what exactly makes up a rhetoric of insult prompts the book to range across the vast and colorful history of offense. Taking in Monty Python, ... More

Keywords: insult, human behavior, human interaction, antisocial, rhetoric, offence, audience, abuse

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780226114774
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226114798.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Thomas Conley, author