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Damn fine put-downs from Rhett to Darcy!

Byline: Robert Dex Special Correspondent newsdesk@birminghammail.co.uk

GONE With e Wind author Margaret Mitchell has been crowned the queen of the literary put-down in a new poll.

e writer, whose novel inspired the classic 'lm starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, topped a poll which included that famous wit Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen and William Shakespeare.

e line in question - Rhett Butler's "My dear, I don't give a damn" - which was altered in the 'lm to the more famous "Frankly, my dear, don't give a damn" - picked up the most votes.

In second place in the top 10 of immortal insults is Lady Bracknell's line, from Oscar Wilde's e Importance Of Being Earnest, where she says: "To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness."

e top three is completed by the surreal snub from Terry Pratchett's Small Gods where one of his characters, a tortoise called Om, tells another character: "May your genitals sprout wings and Y=y away." e poll, which surveyed 2,000 adults, was commissioned by UKTV channel Drama and also featured lines from Agatha Christie and Ernest Hemingway.

e channel's general manager Adrian Wills said: "ese authors had such an incredible ear for dialogue they would put most modern day script writers to shame.

"It's clear that a great put-down is as memorable as budding romance or tragic ending when it comes to enduring literature.

TOP 10 GREATEST PUT-DOWNS IN LITERATURE | 1. "My dear, I don't give a |damn" - Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

2."To lose one parent may |be regarded as a misfortune, Mr Worthing, to lose both looks like carelessness" - Lady Bracknell in The Importance Of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

3. "May your genitals sprout |wings and fly away"- Om the tortoise in Small Gods by Terry Pratchett.

4. "If you will forgive me for |being personal, I do not like your face" - Hercule Poirot in Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie.

5. "She is tolerable; but not |handsome enough to tempt me" - Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 6. "You are the last man in the |world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry"- Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice 7. "If looks could kill, you'd |soon find out that yours couldn't" - Harriet in After Claude by Iris Owens | 8."The tartness of his face |sours ripe grapes" - Menenius in Coriolanus by William Shakespeare.

9."The simplicity of your |character makes you exquisitely incomprehensible to me" - Gwendolen Fairfax in The Importance Of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

10. "I misjudged you... You're |not a moron. You're only a case of arrested development"- Harvey Stone in The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

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Rhett Butler |and Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 3, 2014
Words:476
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