Insulting With Insects

One of the commonly traded insults is calling someone an insect or comparing them to an insect. These insults are typically emotionally charged and intended to inform the target of the degree of displeasure. Recently, Public Policy Polling released a poll concerning dissatisfaction with the US Congress that includes insect “name calling”.

Head Lice.  Photo: John Clark, UMass

Head Lice.
Photo: John Clark, UMass

Throughout its history, Congress has never been a popular institution. As a body for political policy based on compromise, everything they do (or don’t do) contains positive and negative impacts. The negative impacts are often taken more personally, elicit emotional reactions and are in the public mind. Thus the persistent unpopularity. However, the recent Congress has taken its popularity to new lows. To put the level of disgust in perspective, PPP asked people to compare Congress to other issues that poll unfavorably including 2 insect questions. PPP asked people:

What do you have a higher opinion of: Congress or lice?
Congress ……………………………………………….. 19%
Lice …………………………………………………… 67%
Not sure ………………………………………………… 15%

Surprisingly lice won an overwhelming victory over Congress.

What do you have a higher opinion of: Congress or cockroaches?
Congress ……………………………………………….. 43%
Cockroaches …………………………………………… 45%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 12%

Cockroaches eked out a narrow victory as slightly less unpopular than Congress

Although PPP did not poll lice and cockroaches head to head (no pun intended) the poll suggests that Americans are more disgusted by cockroaches than head lice. I have some suspicions why this might be, but I will leave the issue open for commenters:
Which is more disgusting: Cockroaches or Lice? Why?

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, jokes, News, Policy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Insulting With Insects

  1. Pingback: Insulting With Insects: Music | Living With Insects Blog

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