Monday 25 August 2014

Overheards 6

And the gossip...
You’ve got to go through the underclothing and the gossip. You’ve got to go up there Thursday. (On the 393)

She was absolutely brutal to me – I fell in love immediately. (Nag’s Head market)

When you walk through the park, Frank – lovely smell of flowers – and marijuana. At  least you save on the heating – save on the heating!

I was doing visual merchandising: in-store money mapping, where to put stuff.

Ah, Esme – and then mum comes. Just when we’d got the fridge and that ready.

I used to 'ave vinegar sandwiches when I was young. I used to 'ave ketchup sandwiches.

Overheard in Waitrose. Very small boy & man considering a conundrum. VSB: We'll find a way. M: I like your spirit. (@IntervalThinks)

Female customer has just ACTUALLY said "Because I want to retain an intactness to my life, darling" to her small child. (@lucyfishwife)

In Cos at lunchtime (where else) overheard a male customer use the phrase "a cropped black trouser" UNIRONICALLY. End Times, etc. (@lucyfishwife)

Girl just walked by talking on her phone, "So they do just like the Russian mafia does..." Walks out of my earshot. What? Who? Mafia? (‏@Jugbo)

Overheard kid on my road saying to friend "And then he was all 'you fucking motherfuckers!' and it then was, like, unnecessarily violent..." (Anna Carey ‏@urchinette)

OH at the cafe: Oh this? I got it in Salzburg. (@ElizabethBastos)

Overheard in WHSmith (teenage girl to younger sister): "When you get to secondary school you're heavily into pens. You wouldn't understand." (‏@Sam_Metcalf )

Please take your coats, bags, children, hopes and dreams with you as you exit the train. (Sumit Paul-Choudhury ‏@sumit)

Overheard in the office: "Maybe internet kittens are our pewter mugs." (‏@sumit)

OH on London bus: "The sky looks instagrammed". (@Sathnam)

I’ve genuinely heard "No, Portia, you can’t have Kalamata olives" in our local store. (‏@Nickking)

O/H @ National Archaeology Museum in Athens today - "Why are we here? I only want to see the Acropolypse..." (@TourGuideGirl)

In York, where people come into second-hand bookshops and loudly say things like the following: (to staff) "Do you have something like wrapping paper? I've just come from Waterstones, couldn't find any Rumpole." (Owen Hatherley)

More here, and links to the rest.

Friday 22 August 2014

Literary Clichés

The heroine in a non-tragic Victorian novel always has one rebellious curl escaping from her careful hair-do. Even respectable writers do this (e.g. Trollope, The Warden). (JL)

In historical novels, her eyes are too wide apart, her mouth too wide, her nose too snub – ie she conforms to mid-20th century standards of beauty.

In romantic fiction, when a man compliments a woman, she drops an “ironic” curtsey and says “Thank you, kind sir!”

She looked down at herself complacently.” In romantic novels of the 60s, heroines do this to give the author a chance to describe their appearance. Have you ever seen anybody do this? And couldn’t they look in the mirror?

In girls’ school stories, the girls are always setting booby traps, playing wizard japes on Matron, and being rather cruel to somebody called “Mademoiselle”.

In novels of 50-75 years ago, middle-class women under stress always “drag a comb” through their hair (which is probably short and permed).

All novels of the early 20th century have to include this line: “He opened his mouth to speak – but decided against it.” (Sometimes just “He opened his mouth – but thought better of it.”)

Slight sibilance” was code for something: being Jewish, being gay, or just coming from Dagenham.

People's faces "work" with emotion - do they grimace painfully while their lips tremble?

There’s a woman of about 35 who people initially think is plain, but who turns out to have beautiful hazel eyes and a warmly attractive voice. She seems to dress drably but actually wears beautifully cut tailor-mades (rather than a lot of makeup and flashy clothes).

Working-class people have corns, and say “What a coincidence!” Also “Fancy that!”, “onst” for once, “Eh, what?” and “Ever so!” They also “suck their teeth”, whatever this means. Constantly say “tsk, tsk”? Or make the “Ffffff! It’ll cost yer!” noise? Their rooms are always “stuffy”. Sometimes “cold but stuffy”.

Lower middle-class women call clothes “sweetly pretty”.

Men turn up the collars of their jackets against the wet or cold. (In the 30s, when collars were wide, this might have made some difference.)

A feisty and glamorous older lady “suddenly looked a very tired old woman” after a shock, or when the truth about her son/family has come out.

Tidemarks (of dirt) round the neck, or a dirty neck was a signifier for “working class or untrustworthy”. Did it mean that the character washed her face and nothing else? Or did she lie in the bath acquiring a tidemark round her neck that she failed to wash off? Beatnik girls had “dirty faces”. They didn’t wear make-up, so perhaps their natural skin looked dirty to a generation used to powdered faces.

Common, vulgar characters wear too many rings (their hands are “beringed”).

A vulgar woman in E. Phillips Oppenheim’s Aaron Rodd, Diviner exposes “at least 12 inches of silk-clad limbs” and wears loudly squeaking patent shoes. Probably with too-high heels.

Dubious male characters “hold up a perfectly manicured hand”. (“Laverton-West held up a well-manicured hand.” Agatha Christie)

A female character bursts into tears and rushes from the room. Another female character asks, “Should I go to her?” (Never “Should I go after her?” Like “Come!” for “Come in!” in films and TV, which people never say in real life.)

There’s a scene where a man holds both wrists of a hysterical woman in one hand and slaps her face with the other. Is this possible?

In moments of emotion, middle-class characters speak “thickly” – ie huskily.

Shifty or pathetic characters “pull at” their lip, or underlip.

“Those words of Shelley’s came into her mind, ‘Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass etc’.” The author shows off her erudition, and the reader is flattered. (This kind of book is full of: "'Large women shouldn't wear all-over patterns', she thought.")

Mad characters always refer to themselves in the third person.

Chess-playing robots end up killing their creators. (Dave Langford)

“Even Maugham, though, can't resist that favourite male author trope of the dress that looks simple but is not. Has anyone ever actually seen any such dress?” (Clothes in Books)

When 30s writers said a woman was wearing “Cuban heels” they meant Louis heels – old-fashioned, frumpy and déclassé.

Golden Age detective clichés
The detective, though uneducated, instinctively recognises the worth of modernist buildings, impressionist paintings, classical music etc.

Artists sit on the floor and eat kippers to show how bohemian they are.

The detective and his sidekick refer to female suspects they don’t like as “the Smithson”, or whatever their name is.

Common people say they “don’t want to get mixed up with the police”. Middle-class suspects moan about the “publicity” and have a morbid fear of getting their picture in the papers.

There’s a character with a “rafeened” accent who says “quate” for “quite”.

And an elderly, abrasive male character who has a surprisingly sweet, shy smile.

Middle-class characters remark that the working classes are “ghouls” about illness and death, and enjoy funerals. And “There’s nothing that class can’t remember if it tries.” (Agatha Christie)

Drug addicts have either pinpoint or dilated pupils.

The murderer escapes but then holes up in a seaside B and B or seedy rented room and takes her own life. (Somebody probably says “You see, she just had nowhere to go.”)

Why did policemen lick their pencils before writing in a notebook? Was there some kind that only worked when wet? Police constables also bent their knees and rose on their toes (may have been a music-hall joke). (Bobbies on the beat really were told to do both to avoid fainting, deep vein thrombosis etc.)

The writer uses the “the slightly affected quasi-Chestertonian style”. (Steerforth, Age of Uncertainty)

My Memoirs
As she planned her autobiography, dancer Isadora Duncan told writer Sewell Stokes that in any book there had to be “a little old woman in rusty black” somewhere.

I sent back the beef carpaccio because it was underdone. Grammar school boy makes it to Oxford; toff friend invites him to dinner and says “we’re dressing up” (meaning black tie); he turns up in gorilla costume.

My father beat me/brother bullied me/stepfather haunted the family until I told him to stop/punched him on the nose/told him to get lost – and he never did it again/I never saw him again. (I hope all these stories are true.)

More dramatic clichés here.

More literary clichés here.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Howlers 11

Taking on the mantel...
When I took on the mantel of children’s laureate... (Malorie Blackman, Guardian July 2014 She means mantle, as in "ceremonial cloak".)

One publication, only one, the Dorchester Chronicle, celebrated [women workers] mid-war as “the dawning of a new eve of womankind, and therefore the human race”. Big chops to the Chronicle, but it had jumped too many guns. (Guardian Aug 2014 (Dorchester Chronicle: An evening can hardly dawn. Perhaps you originally wrote "era"? Guardian: Chops are skills, you mean “props” (congratulations). You jump a gun by starting to run before the starting pistol is fired, you don’t vault over several cannons. “It had jumped the gun” would do.)

a bursting prison population (BBC News) The prisons are bursting, the population is rising.

Diana Rigg and her elk are the reason we are in penury! (Person complaining about the cost of awards ceremonies. He means “ilk”.)

Beverley Brook: London’s only river whose name sounds like a Hollywood film star. It’s actually a corruption of beaver brook, after the toothsome mammals that once frolicked in its waters.  (Beavers are toothy, but probably not toothsome – tasty.) Londonist

The Imperial War Museum stands reassuringly near the Oval cricket grounds. (BBC News Does the comma go before or after “reassuringly”? Why is the Imp War Mus reassuring? Why does it need to be near the Oval?)

We had hit upon a raw nerve. (If the dentist hits a nerve when he’s drilling your teeth – ow! “Hit upon” means “find”. It hurts when you hit a nerve, though you might say that your feelings were still raw, or that your nerves were still raw after events were over. “We had hit a nerve.”)

In our unhealthy system politicians can ignore their constituents or behave disgracefully yet can still feel impregnable (Time subhed June 2014 Unimpugnable? How about “safe”?)

Chuck it up to experience. (American – It's chalk.)

The noodlier bits belie the project’s origins in the respective artists’ post-album creative hangovers. ( on Royskopp and Robyn. They mean “reveal”.)

Far from the maddening crowd (Shakespeare wrote “madding” – means the same.)

The actress had picture-picture looks to begin with. (Originally “picture-postcard perfect” [visuals] and “pitch-perfect” [sound].)

menage (An outdoor horse-training ring is a “manège”, but why fight it?)

It had lay hidden for 1000 years… new abbeys and churches sprung up… (TV presenter Nina Ramirez Lain hidden... churches sprang up.)

arts officionados (aficionados It’s nearer to “affection” than official or officious.)

Normcore has transgressed from a trend to a phenomenon. ( – progressed)

Oy Vey! He’s a nebbish boy from Queens, New York, who loves his Aunt May but feels the weight of the world on his shoulders – of course Spider-Man is Jewish. (Independent April 2014 "Nebbish" is a noun. It doesn’t mean “a bit neb”.)

not much chop (It's "not much cop".)

pall into insignificance (pale)

Nissan huts (Nissen)

Racism is strife in football. (rife)

This book is a mighty tomb. (Galway Advertiser A book is a "tome".)

CREATIVE SPELLINGA large number of tiny flies are in my garden hovering around my grass there are hundreds ist discusting i have just recently had my grass re turfted and it has been fine until last week. (
They seem to be amune to everything! (
To me Fiona Bruce is the appitamy of a lady.
Is Wall Street teaming with psychopaths? (huffpost)
dressed from head-to-tow in black (Daily Mail)
It’s a mute point.
(disgusting, turfed, immune, epitome, teeming, head-to-toe, moot)

Construed in the 60s, a flay within waling distance of the fashionable immunities of Church Street, in this sort after location, converted in this vicarage, in a quite residential neighbourhood, comprimises of carpet flooring, everything is separated from a central hallway, leaving room contains kitchen. Live in harmony with your environment in the shape of a long rear garden, we are delighted to offer to the market this two bedroom split level marionette. Double glaze windoe to rear, plummed for washing machine, communial car park area to front of the property, recently renovated within the last three months, carpeated throughout. Concrete ground and first floors: illiminating sound transfer. This lovely home is stooped in character. Readymade tenant in situ!

More here, and links to the rest.

Saturday 9 August 2014

Euphemisms for "Gay" (in quotes)

Calling someone epicene is a nice way of saying a pouf. (Kenneth Williams, Diaries. He also complained that people were always calling him "outrageous".)

He never married: He was gay.
Well turned out: He's gay.
(From Robert Hutton's Romps, Tots and Boffins)

flamboyant: Drag artist Danny La Rue is auctioning off part of his flamboyant collection of antiques later this month. (BBC, 13 Jan 04) Flamboyant Nicky is extremely popular with all the new Russians in town.” (Evening Standard, December 6, 2006) Liberace is “the flamboyant piano showman” in The Times, April 13 2013.

flowing: clothes worn by gay men, especially when applied to a garment that can’t possibly flow. “Flamboyant Anja, dancing in a micro-mini and a flowing handkerchief-style top on the stage, is a former first team rugby player and deputy head boy of his school.” (Sunday Times of South Africa 28 Oct 2001) “Take a flat character and make him gay, and all you have are the stereotypical attributes: loose, flowing garments; a somewhat insulting code name; unlikely speech patterns.” ( on Truly Awful Comics and a gay character called Extraño)

lavender: Despite all the progress, Ireland is still no lavender-scented utopia in which to be gay. (

perfumed: “It had once decorated the perfumed house shared by Saint Laurent and his partner… on the rue de Babylone.” (Evening Standard magazine, January 8 2010)

sashay: Peter Mandelson has “sashayed” back into the cabinet. (The Daily Telegraph, Oct 08)

screamingly: “This is more like early Almodóvar, outrageous, flashy fun, often with screamingly loud colour schemes...” (The Guardian, Feb 4 2005)

sibilant: “Kenneth Halliwell, taller and older than [Joe] Orton, with sibilant, affected speech...” (Born Brilliant, Christopher Stevens) “My face apparently looks effeminate, and people say that I speak sibilantly.” (Kenneth Williams, diary)

waspish: See any reference to fine actor Clifton Webb (1889-1966). “In 1984 [Denholm Elliott] was unforgettably waspish as the dying social lion who dictates his own death notice in The Razor's Edge” [the role played by Clifton Webb in the 1946 version]. ( “Webb used a sharp tongue and a waspish manner” “Cathcart's waspish art-collector husband (Clifton Webb)” video.tvguide “A waspish journalist who maintained an ambivalent relationship with Laura.” “Webb tended to play the familiar waspish character over and over. ( “He was subsequently typecast as a waspish, acidulous, pedantic bachelor” (

More euphemisms here, and links to the rest.

Friday 8 August 2014

Think Tanks (in quotes)

Ministry of Truth

"Think tanks have such Orwellian names", said a friend. He was thinking of the propaganda organisation titled the "Ministry of Truth" and others from 1984.

think tank = lobby group = legal corruption (Ross Douthat, New York Times, Oct 2012)

A left-wing organisation that puts out press releases proposing policy is a "pressure group". The right-wing equivalent is a "think tank". (parody account @dailymailstyle)

I think these old-fashioned, ugly and dangerous 'think tanks' should be dismantled and replaced with attractive “power blocs”. (Ian Martin/@IanMartin)

Blackwater: mercenary squad “Not that you would know that from Blackwater's publicity material. Americans are used to corporate-speak, but when the business is war, more euphemism is needed than ever. When Blackwater says it ‘efficiently and effectively integrates a wide range of resources and core competencies to provide unique and timely solutions’, you think, ‘What?’ Translation: ‘We provide heavies and we teach people how to be heavies.’ Instead of saying ‘gunfire’, they say ‘active shooter incidents’. ‘Solutions’ is a classic corporate euphemism for a security company. You make what you do as vague as possible - except we all know what ‘solutions’ means in this particular case.” (The Guardian, October 29, 2007 Blackwater is now known as Academi.)

Common Purpose: provides training and networking for high-fliers. “Its critics say it is a secret networking organisation at the heart of the establishment, with a hidden agenda and influence… They believe it is shaping people to work to its hidden agenda of promoting a European super-state, forcing diversity on British society, and imposing political correctness,” says “The organisation's aim is to identify and train the next generation of leaders.” (The fiends! "Political correctness" is actually imposed by the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998.)

Foundation for Integrated Health:
lobby group for alternative medicine (“In 1993, Prince Charles founded his often re-named lobby group that ended up being called the ‘Foundation for Integrated Health’ (FIH). It was closed down in 2010 amidst allegations of money laundering and fraud.” Edzard Ernst)

Free Market Foundation: Its aims are to "protect freedoms and strengthen families" "It’s outrageous that our highest elected education officials voted to silence teachers and students in science class," said Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs for the US nonprofit Free Market Foundation, whose objective is to "protect freedoms and strengthen families". (It’s now harder to teach creationism in Texas schools, creationists lost the vote. They want to keep “strengths and weaknesses” in the guidelines, i.e. the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinism.)

Housing Action Trust: “Liverpool tower blocks - scores of which were demolished by the amusingly named Housing Action Trust in the 1990s and early 2000s.” (Will Self, London Review of Books, Feb 2012 Liverpool HAT demolished 54 tower blocks. I wonder why? And why are we building more, again?)

Information Research Department: “a secret bureau in the Foreign Office… to counter Soviet propaganda” (BBC, February 2013)

Integrity: “…a special ministry at [Christian university] Harding called Integrity, designed to help students battle same-sex desires.” (Jeff Chu, Does Jesus Really Love Me?)

Joint Operations Command: “shadowy security politburo” (timesonline on the collective that’s running Zimbabwe, June 2008)

Keep Sunday Special: Started as a campaign to stop people shopping on a Sunday (it lost). Now its website claims “87% of people think it is important for family stability and community life to have a common day off each week.” (

New Culture Forum: “Dr Anthony Seldon, master of Wellington College, knows what children need: more fear in their daily lives. They need to face physical hardship and personal deprivation, he told the New Culture Forum – a centre-right think tank.” (Michele Hanson, Guardian October 2, 2007)

New Turn: think tank addressing political apathy among young people. “New Turn exists in order to not only try and tackle political apathy but also what in many cases is a lack of opportunity,” says its website, ungrammatically. “As a forum researcher you will actively follow your field of interest and churn ideas of how New Turn could introduce the issues and debates to the wider public in an engaging manner,” says its Facebook page.

Party Centre: The prison's existence was known only to those who worked or were imprisoned there and to a handful of high-ranking cadres, known as the Party Centre, who reviewed the documents emerging from S-21 and selected the individuals and the military and other units to be purged. (David Chandler, Voices From S-21)

Princeton Group: Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone is part of a new secret group aiming to ‘save traditional marriage’. According to research by Good as You, Cordileone is part of the Princeton Group, a newly-formed organisation which claims to be “developing and deploying an action plan to protect marriage and preserve religious liberties”. A leaked invite shows the group’s meeting this month is hosted by a committee including National Organisation for Marriage President Brian Brown... Alliance Defending Freedom President Alan Sears, and American Principles Project chairman Sean Fielder.

American Principles Project: “APP believes that local and national policies that respect the dignity of the person will lead to a flourishing society. As such, we educate and advocate for public policy solutions that respect and affirm: human life from conception to natural death; the union of one man and one woman as the definition of marriage; the freedom to practice and proclaim religion; authentic economic progress for working Americans; education in service of the comprehensive development of the person; and, the legacy of immigrants in contributing to the American story.” Anti-abortion, anti-equal marriage, anti-welfare?

Scientific and Medical Network: “promoters of spiritualist, pseudoscientific and occult medicine” says Andy Lewis/@lecanardnoir. According to its website, its membership “is composed of all kinds of people who are looking to align their interest or work in science and secular philosophy with a belief in the spiritual dimension of life”.

Traditional Britain Group: “We believe that exiting the EU and halting immigration are crucial to the survival of the British nation.”

World Congress of Families: They are for the “natural family”, but won’t say what they are anti. (“…the term "natural" precludes incompatible constructs of the family as well as incompatible behaviors among its members… Fourth, the "natural family" is a positive expression. It does not require a discussion of negative incompatibilities to define itself.” Sounds like they’ve had trouble with that wording.)

More euphemisms here, and links to the rest.

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Cohesive, Divisive

So divisive
More euphemistic quotes. Cohesion seems to mean "not division". Or perhaps "becoming more like the host nation".

“The Centre for Social Cohesion is a non-partisan think-tank that studies issues related to community cohesion in Britain. Headquartered in London, it was founded in 2007 by Civitas to promote new thinking that can help bring Britain's ethnic and religious communities closer together while strengthening British traditions of openness, tolerance and democracy.” (The Centre’s website)

“Immigrants who don’t integrate have a divisive influence.” (Yougov poll)

Integration is to keep our own culture while appreciating other cultures.” BBC message board (Surely that’s the complete opposite of integration? But it might be a definition of “diversity”.)

“Morality is not just about reducing harm and promoting autonomy, as liberals tend to see it. It is also about authority and binding people into cohesive communities, as conservatives stress.” (Prospect magazine, Feb 2009)

“The thrust remains on preserving family and social stability and cohesion," says Delhi-based sociologist Patricia Oberoi. "Most youngsters are still committed to maintaining their social position through marriage... studies show that as many as 80% of youngsters opine arranged marriages are best." ( Feb 2008)

There is no coherent or cohesive 'Englishness'” (Owen Jones, quoted in Prospect magazine, July 2012)

“These prayer rooms are becoming a menace to community cohesion, the centre of conflicts between religions. The time has come to decide whether they are, in fact, more of a danger than a benefit.” (Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, Feb 2008)

“This does not mean that high tax rates make society more cohesive.” (Prospect magazine, July 2012. The editor is on the board of The Centre for Social Cohesion.)

“Why should we Christians walk on eggshells to preserve community cohesion and accommodate everyone else when the world around us is being aggressive towards Christianity?" said the Rev Nezlin Sterling. “Other faiths are unrelentingly spreading their message and gaining ground that we unwittingly have vacated.” (The Guardian, Feb 12 09)

French President François Hollande says a top tax rate of 75% would “send a message of social cohesion”. (Feb 2012)

Mr Blair warned that public money had been too easily handed out to organisations "tightly bonded around religious, racial or ethnic identities". In future they would have to show they aimed to promote community cohesion and integration. (The Guardian, December 8 2006)

The “social cohesion” argument is a euphemism for intolerance. (

More euphemisms here, and links to the rest.

Friday 1 August 2014

Inspirational Quotes 59

To those whom God has forsaken, is given a gas-fire in Earl's Court. (Patrick Hamilton, Hangover Square, 1941)

The lack of social conventions around transgender issues makes people do silly things – things they'd never do in relation to cis people. (Fred McConnell, Guardian March 19, 14)

You know all those times you thought were life-defining? They were just moments. You know all those times you thought were just moments? They were actually life-defining. (Caitlin Moran)

Nobody sensible minds being laughed at. (A Pony for Jean, Joanna Cannan, 1936 Jean, the 12-year-old narrator, also says that if groups of people don’t talk to you it’s probably because they can’t think of anything to say, not because they despise you.)

The more alone you are, the more others want to leave you alone. (Will Storr G March 16 2014)

Over the days of wrangling I hoped that Dad would at some point acknowledge that in my own way I was standing up to him, something that dominant personalities are said to admire, though not all the evidence points that way. (Adam Mars Jones in the LRB, on telling his father that he was gay)

The hardest thing kids must do is break into an already-formed play group. (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, paraphrase)

When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do? (Maynard Keynes, allegedly)

Kidnappers always start with a massively unreasonable demand. They don’t expect to get it; they’re just trying to make anything less seem a relief. Pay too much too soon and the kidnappers think they have underestimated your resources and try to extort a second fee before releasing the victim. (Dick Francis, paraphrase)

“Be careful to ‘be real’”, said a media consultant in a 1999 memo advising Mrs Clinton ahead of a tour that was pivotal to her aspirations... to become a US Senator. Urging Mrs Clinton to be “chatty, intimate, informal”, she insisted: “It’s important that your tone stay informal and relaxed and therefore not political. Look for opportunities for humour. It’s important that people see more sides of you, and they often see you only in very stern situations.” (These were “attempts to carefully manipulate her public image amid fears she appeared distant and insufficiently authentic.” Times Mar 1 2014)

There is an old idea that if you’re socially skilled, you can make friends anywhere you are. That can be true, but for your day-to-day life, it’s not very relevant. You can’t just go to a bar or a public place and find people that would be “fit” to be your friends. Sure, you can find great people, but a public place is actually not the best place to create friendships. Friendship works in a way that it needs context. It needs to be in an environment that bring people together so they create a connection with one another. That’s why I always recommend that you stick with communities, clubs, and groups. You can research on the internet for a few minutes and find communities that meet in the real world. Make sure that you choose communities that are about something you’re interested in. It’s much easier to build friendships within a private community. (

A limited vocabulary always gives more force to expression. (Fernand Pouillon)

Bullies always shoot themselves in the foot. (Dr Brian May)

More here, and links to the rest.