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Lilly Evans

We have a widely used term in UK - not emotive and not rude. The people you describe are plain and simple BULLY! I think that word might 'travel' better.

Bob Sutton

Dave,

Thanks for the fantastic suggestion -- minion of the dark lord has much class and deep content. And as for Jim Stockdale, I will get his essays, but it is also interesting that I used his actions in prison in The No Asshole Rule to illustrate the power of using tiny wins that give people essential tidbits of control over their world to survive bad situations. He was an inspiring human being, and thanks for bringing him up.

dblwyo

How 'bout minion of the Dark Lord ? Still not perjorative and emotive enuff,perhaps ? On the other hand what's next ? Call them something too emotive and it stickes with you but the real question(s) are what do we do about it ?

On a personal level I can't control a dark minion but I can control my reactions and whether or not they get power over me. Hard to do and harder to think about unless one can mentally transform them into boggits (ala Harry Potter) and laugh them off. One still has to get something done however - so their real power should NOT be denied or ignored. Just the things I can control.

Hopefully readers will recognize this as more than my point but the basic argument of Epictetus - as recieved for me via Jim Stockdale. Now there was a remarkable man, trapped for seven years, subject to painful torture by the minions and who spent four years in solitary. Yet he still managed to consciously create a civilized society by focusing on the things he could control. For anybody interested in migrating from labeling to dealing with let me recommend his collection of essays, "Reflections of a Philsophical Fighter Pilot".

Dave Livingston

Maureen Rogers

There's really no word that fully encompasses all of the shadings of "asshole". Jerk seems to come the closest, but it's still no asshole. (In our family, the substitute is "grassmole," which my siser coined when her daughter Molly was a toddler. I generally despise those nicey-nice substitutes - SugarHoneyIceTea and Fudge are two that come to mind - since they always draw more attention to the "non-swearer" than use of the real word ever would, and strike me as ridiculously childish. But I do have to smile whenever one of us uses "grassmole.")

Ally Polly

How about " moron"?
That sums it up for me!

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