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What you can learn from Hemingway’s humour and insults.

Writers can be a bitchy bunch – and witty too.

As you’d expect, they can construct powerful insults that pack a punch  – or a jokey jab.

Here are two of my favourites Hemingway “insults”

TB at Hs

I love how Hemingway derides similes.

He was criticized for using simple “dinky” words that would not send the reader to a dictionary.

I love how he “jokes” that he needs a dictionary – and how he uses a simile to attack similies.

“…similies (bring me my dictionary) are like defective ammunition (the lowest thing I can think of at this time).”

I also love the stench of this insult – as he “pisses on” writers of parodies.

I can smell the caustic urine in the insult and the words “step up” suggest (to me) the step at a urinal.

“The parody is the last refuge of the frustrated writer…The step up from writing parodies is writing on the wall above the urinal.”

What are YOUR favourite insults or ripostes from writers or other wordsmiths?

Please add to the comments section below.

Winston Churchill had lots of witty retorts and replies too.

Here are links to other post in this Hemingway-inpired series.

1. How Hemingway’s One True Sentence style can help you improve your writing for social media


3.How Hemingway used repetition and the sound of words

Also, here are other tips to help you improve your writing.

JB book

If you’d like to improve your writing: Here are some quick tips.

1.Release The Verb

2.How nouns can save your butt!

3.Use visual language

4.Parallel Structure

TB headline technique

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.



tony biancotti





One comment on “What you can learn from Hemingway’s humour and insults.

  1. efangelist
    April 1, 2015

    Reblogged this on efangelist.

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