The Guide to Unproblematically Telling Someone They Suck

if you’re the type of person who believes, in their heart of hearts, that there is a time and place when one simply must refer to another person as a vat of santorum and pig-vomit, please, take my hand.

Let’s get this out of the way: the title of this article is an oxymoron. After all, an insult, in its purest sense, is designed to denigrate another person– to put them down. And thus, by their very nature, aren’t all insults problematic? Many of us out there want to think there are always good alternatives to name-calling and such, of course. And in many cases, yes, there are. Yes, constructive criticism over brash rudeness is almost always preferable. There is also the alternative, often put forward, of having a simple argument. You don’t have to find anything valid about what someone is saying, just explain to them why you think what they’re saying is wrong, right? “Here’s why I…

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I’m a freelance writer and graduate student who loves all things nerdy!