Making their way around the world lately by e-mail and blog (including Aussie Angry 365 Days a Year and Reluctant Nomad in Amsterdam) are some classic insults from the days when insults weren’t mean and crude, but had wit and class.

Winston Churchill was always good for some gems, including the comment, “A modest little person, with much to be modest about.” Mark Twain likewise is endlessly quotable, with lines such as “I didn’t attend the funeral, but sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” And then there’s Groucho Marx, who offered, “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

So if you feel you must insult someone, please remember to be creative.