2005-08-09

Dictionary shows why it's easier to be nasty than nice

WHEN it comes to being nasty we are rarely lost for words, according to a new dictionary that shows there are almost ten times as many insulting expressions as there are complimentary ones.

The revised second edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English, published today, provides 350 ways of insulting people - but only 40 compliments. [snip]

Catherine Soanes, co-editor of the dictionary, said: "Sad to say, it seems to be part of human nature to focus on people's negative qualities rather than to praise them. Our research shows that there are nearly ten times as many rude and insulting words than complimentary ones."

This negative information comes as no surprise to this Neg-head, or as the Yale linguistics Negation guru himself prefers, "negaholic".

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