I wanted to hold up a comment made by occhiblu in response to my Sunday column, in which I suggested “confessing” to one’s barista that you’ve been seeing other coffee shops. occhiblu wrote:
I think most people think of “witty retort” as one that puts down the other person; it’s nice to see one suggested that lets the other person in on the joke.
Yes! This is exactly it. Long-time readers know my frustration with the request for a “witty retort” to shut someone down. (You know who was really good at witty comebacks? Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde. Check out how life ended up for them sometime.) But of course I do recommend humor, and often. Thanks, occhiblu, for finally putting that distinction into words for me.