she has a way with words

clever comebacks, too. take a peek at daisy de villeneuve's latest literary adventure.
February 03, 2015  |   column: DELIBERATE POLISH



“’i have a way with words’ he said. i should have said, ‘so do i!’”

 it happens to the smartest, wittiest, most quick-thinking of us: a clever retort escapes us the moment we actually want it, only to flash on like a lightbulb after it’s of any real use (eg: while brushing your teeth, in yoga class, midway through explaining said incident to friends). no one can be ‘on’ all the time, it turns out—not even daisy de villeneuve, the delightful english-american writer and illustrator and the wit behind the new book i should have said.

 in the vein of de villeneuve’s previous books, he said she said and i told you so, i should have said is a cleverly-packaged handbook of cheeky comebacks and accompanying illustrations. her personal misadventures—charmingly shared with plenty of self-directed amusement—take a winning turn, reimagined as moments when exactly the right words were at the ready.

when it comes to turning a “should have” into an “i did”, a little advice from the woman who cites groucho marx, dorothy parker and oscar wilde as her personal comeback heroes. “say exactly what you’re thinking, instead of holding back or editing your words,” daisy says. “if you hear a remark that sounds strange, repeat it aloud. there have been so many times where i’m left thinking, ‘i can’t believe he or she said or did that!’ i didn’t confront them and on reflection, after writing the book, it makes life much simpler by saying something at the time instead of letting it fester.”

 we agree. we also recommend picking up your copy today.


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