Before I was even a pipsqueak, a popular, no-account insult was “so’s your old man.” In my prime years as a pipsqueak, the snappy no-account insults were “you’re a chicken” and “drop dead.”
Today, new customs are on the loose.
The airwaves carry so many symptoms that insults pass for normal. The daily news may suggest the infection comes from politics, but the wider pattern says otherwise. Social media spread the habit of scorn to one culture, then the next and next.
The insult culture is easy to find in network TV, talk shows, politics, sports and every level of school. The signs are the same whether the topic is last night’s ball game or taxes.