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  • The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all.

  • There is hardly any mental misery worse than that of having our own serious phrases, our own rooted beliefs, caricatured by a charlatan or a hireling.

  • ... ridicule may be a shield, but it is not a weapon.

  • Mockery did not come easily to Dora, and had to be thought out beforehand.

  • Love can bear anything better than ridicule.

  • It is said that ridicule is the test of truth: it is never applied, but when we wish to deceive ourselves ...

  • The greatest weapon in the world ... is ridicule.

  • ... by one slight insinuation, / One scarce perceiv'd exaggeration; / Sly Ridicule, with half a word, / Can fix her stigma of — absurd ...

    • Hannah More,
    • "Florio" (1786), The Works of Hannah More, vol. 1 ()
  • When an object is to be ridiculed, 'tis generally exaggerated ...

    • Abigail Adams,
    • to her niece Betsey Cranch (1786), Letters of Mrs. Adams ()
  • ... I'd rather be done any thing to than laughed at, for, to my mind, it's one or other the disagreeablest thing in the world.

  • little old ladies is the term they use / to make us laugh at the women who / have been fighting for sixty years.

    • Alta,
    • "L.O.L.," no visible means of support ()
  • ... I can make him feel so low he'll be able to sit on a dime and swing his feet.

  • [Ridicule] laughs at all those who see the earnestness of life and who still believe in true feelings and in serious thought ... It soils the hope of youth. Only shameless vice is above its reach.

  • Brutality is sometimes easier to endure than ridicule.

  • Ridicule is like a wolf: it only destroys those who fear it.

  • Nobody can make a monkey out of anyone who isn't a monkey to start with.

  • What people don't understand, they laugh at.

  • It is easier for some to stand before a bullet than before a laugh.

  • Ridicule is the only honorable weapon we have left.

    • Muriel Spark,
    • speech, American Academy of Arts and Letters ()
  • I heard someone say, and so I said it, too, that ridicule is the most effective weapon. I don't suppose I ever really believed it, but it was easy, and so I said it. Well, now I know. I know that there are things that never have been funny, and never will be. And I know that ridicule may be a shield, but it is not a weapon.

    • Dorothy Parker,
    • in Heywood Broun, "It Seems to Me," My World Telegram ()