The Dreaded Cut Direct: Killing You With K̶i̶n̶d̶n̶e̶s̶s̶ Etiquette
July 12, 2019 3:52 PM   Subscribe

“The person delivering the cut direct would make eye contact with the other party upon meeting them, acknowledging their bow or salutation with nothing but a hard stare and a stony silence. To be a true cut direct, there must be no doubt that cutter was fully aware of the presence of the cuttee and was deliberately cutting them.” Not brutal enough for you? How about the cut infernal as defined “BY A MEMBER OF THE WHIP CLUB ASSISTED BY Hell Fire Dick”?
posted by sallybrown (33 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh wow - it shouldn't be a surprise - young people's crazy slang and inscrutable terminology have been around for centuries. Exactly how does the preening of debutantes then radically differ from "selfie-social-media-culture" today? Not by much apparently, except having a larger audience.
posted by jkaczor at 4:03 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


(Oh, and I am so going to be bringing these back into conversations whenever I can, lets get them back into current use!... "did you see that! she just gave him the 'cut indirect'")
posted by jkaczor at 4:16 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I keep these in my bookmarks because I dream of being able to use them someday on the perfect occasion. I love the little detail that one of the reasons the cut direct is used only sparingly is because it’s so painful for onlookers to watch, that’s how brutal it is.
posted by sallybrown at 4:32 PM on July 12 [15 favorites]


Can we get this circulated in Progressive circles? I'm imagining just getting a flash-mob to stare down Stephen Miller and other RedHats when they make public appearances. No shouting, no placards. Just dozens of people, coldly staring you down, saying nothing, making no response. We need to bring ostracism back into our society, is what I'm saying.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 4:35 PM on July 12 [34 favorites]


My preferred modern variant is the cut telephonic , in which one either pretends to recieve a phone call, or otherwise distracts oneself with a smart device.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 4:41 PM on July 12 [26 favorites]


Or the variant the cut mobile, in which you’re too busy staring down at your phone to see the other person passing by.
posted by sallybrown at 4:44 PM on July 12 [14 favorites]


A duel seems more honorable to me, you're not relying on society to do your dirty work for you.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:46 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of Touchstone's seven stages of a quarrel in As You Like It:

TOUCHSTONE
I did dislike the
cut of a certain courtier's beard: he sent me word,
if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in the
mind it was: this is called the Retort Courteous.
If I sent him word again 'it was not well cut,' he
would send me word, he cut it to please himself:
this is called the Quip Modest. If again 'it was
not well cut,' he disabled my judgment: this is
called the Reply Churlish. If again 'it was not
well cut,' he would answer, I spake not true: this
is called the Reproof Valiant. If again 'it was not
well cut,' he would say I lied: this is called the
Counter-cheque Quarrelsome: and so to the Lie
Circumstantial
and the Lie Direct.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:46 PM on July 12 [16 favorites]


It's interesting to think that all these rules must have developed because somebody must have done this in a bad way and everyone was like wtf?? Like at least one unmarried woman must have done this to a married woman and everyone was like oh honey, no. Or like the story about Beau Brummell. And then after one person made that mistake, everyone remembered that and tried not to do that again or immediately showed disapproval the next time they saw it happen that way.
posted by bleep at 4:47 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


"Dear fellow,
what's your next work? A novel...Great! We hope that you, dear Mr Seth -"
"...In verse," I added. He turned yellow.

"How marvellously quaint," he said,
And subsequently cut me dead.
posted by w0mbat at 5:03 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


I walk in mortal fear of giving the cut direct due to terrible eyesight. I tend to overcompensate by greeting a lot of confused strangers.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:04 PM on July 12 [20 favorites]


The cut instagram: when you watch someone's story but don't like their posts
posted by mhum at 5:34 PM on July 12 [11 favorites]


I like that it has the same grammar as A Love Supreme.

Maybe that can be slang for shaking someone's hand and smiling.
posted by Beardman at 5:43 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


The problem with the idea of the Cut Infernal is that it makes the lives of the Socially Awkward even more Tortuous....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:56 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


The Lie

BY SIR WALTER RALEGH

Go, soul, the body’s guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant.
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Say to the court, it glows
And shines like rotten wood;
Say to the church, it shows
What’s good, and doth no good.
If church and court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

Tell potentates, they live
Acting by others’ action;
Not loved unless they give,
Not strong but by a faction.
If potentates reply,
Give potentates the lie.

Tell men of high condition,
That manage the estate,
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate.
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
Who, in their greatest cost,
Seek nothing but commending.
And if they make reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell zeal it wants devotion;
Tell love it is but lust;
Tell time it is but motion;
Tell flesh it is but dust.
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.

Tell age it daily wasteth;
Tell honor how it alters;
Tell beauty how she blasteth;
Tell favor how it falters.
And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lie.

Tell wit how much it wrangles
In tickle points of niceness;
Tell wisdom she entangles
Herself in overwiseness.
And when they do reply,
Straight give them both the lie.

Tell physic of her boldness;
Tell skill it is pretension;
Tell charity of coldness;
Tell law it is contention.
And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.

Tell fortune of her blindness;
Tell nature of decay;
Tell friendship of unkindness;
Tell justice of delay.
And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming;
Tell schools they want profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming.
If arts and schools reply,
Give arts and schools the lie.

Tell faith it’s fled the city;
Tell how the country erreth;
Tell manhood shakes off pity;
Tell virtue least preferreth.
And if they do reply,
Spare not to give the lie.

So when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing—
Although to give the lie
Deserves no less than stabbing—
Stab at thee he that will,
No stab the soul can kill.
posted by jamjam at 5:58 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


In my experience we just do the cut ignore, where you pretend not to see a person or just look anywhere but at their face when you are trying to avoid them at close range in the hall.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:35 PM on July 12




Can we get this circulated in Progressive circles? I'm imagining just getting a flash-mob to stare down Stephen Miller and other RedHats when they make public appearances.

Stephen Miller doesn't have a relationship with you for you to cut off. He would not recognize you and expect to be acknowledged by you. Probably you do not share any social circles. I mean maybe group-stare-downs on a motherfucker could be a creepy and effective harassment tactic, but it would not be this cut direct.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 7:59 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


I misread Hell Fire Dick as being a member of the Whip Ass Club. I like the idea of of hardcore Regency dandies being part of a Whip Ass Club.
posted by vorpal bunny at 8:06 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


We need to bring ostracism back into our society, is what I'm saying.

aww but then we'd all have to agree on common social mores and standards!
posted by wibari at 8:37 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


as in the "put on, put down, come on, come down, bring down" module from del close's how to speak hip:
...and then you can put him down with a look. this is a look that's very hard to describe on a record, you know? you look at him with eyes and a look that say, i will never look at you again and like you. no one i ever know will ever look at you again and like you. you will never be invited anywhere. you will never be told anything. you are a menace. go away. you know, you look at him like that, that's a put down.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:59 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


You know who's really good at the cut direct?

Cats.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:19 PM on July 12 [14 favorites]


The what kind of dick now
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:06 PM on July 12


You know who's really good at the cut direct?

Cats.


The cat direct
posted by bread crumbs at 1:27 AM on July 13 [17 favorites]


O, how I admire the manner in which your gib executes the cut direct!
posted by otherchaz at 1:44 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Dear fellow,
what's your next work? A novel...Great! We hope that you, dear Mr Seth -"
"...In verse," I added. He turned yellow.

"How marvellously quaint," he said,
And subsequently cut me dead.


I am visiting a friend’s Quaker meeting. After worship, a woman comes up to talk to me.

Her: “What do you do?”

Me: “Well, I just finished writing a book.”

Her: “How interesting! What is it about?”

Me: “It’s a romance novel.”

Her: *walks away*
posted by Orlop at 4:51 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


I think I invented the cut arboreal. I had a very awkward breakup in college, so for the next few weeks, every time I saw her I would hide behind a tree.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:01 AM on July 13 [10 favorites]


When I'd read 'A Moveable Feast', I was all "whut?" at that odd passage with Ford Maddox Ford.
posted by ovvl at 7:38 AM on July 13


The cut meeting:

"I have a meeting just starting now, at 17 minutes after the hour."
posted by PMdixon at 8:50 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


The problem with the idea of the Cut Infernal is that it makes the lives of the Socially Awkward even more Tortuous....

"That devil is so outgoing he'll give you the Cut Infernal by staring at your shoes."
posted by straight at 8:52 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


Now I'm trying to get my taxonomy right. Surely the cut sublime and cut infernal are subclasses of the cut indirect, no? More specifically, they're both forms of the cut ambient, in which the cutter's attention is ostensibly drawn to something in the immediate surroundings. As mentioned above, the cut telephonic is a new form of the same cut, largely supplanting the cut tabloid, which used a newspaper for the same purpose.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:58 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of Touchstone's seven stages of a quarrel in As You Like It:

...which, incidentally, is largely there to cover a quick costume change at the end of the show.

And now you know...the rest of the story.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:49 PM on July 13 [3 favorites]


Well, Shakespeare was jobbing playwright. He had to think of practical matters like that.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:34 PM on July 13


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