What about those less than sincere compliments? You know of the ones to which I refer, the disguised compliments. There are compliments, and there are "backhanded compliments." These are given and unceremoniously taken back in the same sentence.
"Mary, what a beautiful haircut! But don't worry dear, it'll grow back."
That is a classic backhanded compliment. Mary is first made to feel good. Then she is backhanded by another who doesn't particularly like Mary's haircut. Mary's friend doesn't know when to shut up.
"...And what a lovely perm! I didn't know pink hair was back in style."
You have been watching the painters hard at work on your neighbor's house. For several days you have been angered about the painter's vehicle parked opposite your driveway. When the painters have finished the job, packed up, and left, you feel the urge to tell your neighbor how good his house looks.
"Say, Jack! That paint job on your house looks great!" (Now it's time to stick the knife in and twist it.) "When are they going to put on the second coat?"
Of course, you can leave backhanded compliments on the comments page of blogs you might visit.
"I am visiting your blog for the first time. Great stuff!" (You are getting the knife ready...) "Isn't it wonderful that there is a medium that grammar and spelling don't matter?"
One day you run into an old high school classmate you haven't seen in ten years or more.
"Hello, Tom. Long time no see! You look good." (The sunlight reflects off the blade as you wave the knife.) "Is that a weave?"
A few more:
Newlywed bride to her groom on the wedding night as he removes his underwear, "Ooh, Nice." (Knife.) "That's one of the biggest ones I have ever seen." (Meaning she has seen a bigger ones? Plural?)
Newlywed groom to his bride on the wedding night as she removes her bra, "Wow. Very nice!" (Knife.) "Those are some of the biggest ones I have ever seen!" (Meaning he has seen bigger ones? Your sister?)
"Marge, I hear they are having a surprise birthday party for you tomorrow!" (You are using a sabre now. You just spoiled the surprise. You thrust again, "Now, don't forget to check the batteries in the smoke detector."
"Hello, Bill. Nice suit." (The Knife.) "What are the charges?"