Put-downs show a lack of sensitivity to the feelings of employees.
Frequently put-downs are defensive maneuvers intended to distract a supervisor from an undesirable duty.
Here are some put-downs that may sound disturbingly familiar to you:
There is nothing really funny about such put-downs.
Clearly, a put-down of the "literary lion" and "malapropian Hall of Famer" was in play, but the punch line left me guessing.
It is here, finally, in the narrow borders of the meritocratic class, that the Spy put-down game has its most insidious effects.
The proliferation of the put-down, and Spy's honing it to new levels of precision, gives the New York magazine world a new hierarchy.
Or what if you've been taking literary cues from James Wolcott, a Vanity Fair reviewer who is no stranger himself to the put-down.
But its championing of the put-down prose not only promotes wasteful fretting in its own readers but sets an example that is bound to be copied widely.
The magazine's rose is owered chiefly by the master of put-downs, and the put-downs are based on the mastery (or alleged mastery) of taste.
To watch how this works, it's useful to divide Spy put-downs into three categories.