You don’t understand Southern hospitality (something I know well having been raised as a Southern Baptist Preacher’s kid). If we make sarcastic comments to your face, you’re more prepared for the moment we slip the dagger into your back. It’s the surprise of betrayal that gives the joy.

If we must be critical, we use the backhanded compliment (e.g., “I think you do a wonderful job of writing to a home-schooled audience.”).

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Living metaphor. Follow me @stephens_pt.

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