The Chronicle interviews a linguist and a philosopher on their recent books about, ahem, assholes:
“James argues for a three-part definition of assholes that boils down to this: Assholes act out of a deep-rooted sense of entitlement, a habitual and persistent belief that they deserve special treatment. (Nunberg points out that use of the phrase ‘sense of entitlement’ tracks the spread of ‘asshole’—both have spiked since the 1970s.) How to distinguish an asshole from a scumbag, a jerk, a prick, or a schmuck? Assholes are systematic. We all do assholeish things, but only an asshole feels fully justified in always acting like an asshole. As James puts it, ‘If one is special on one’s birthday, the asshole’s birthday comes every day.'”
If we could get them working on douchebag that would be great too. TYIA.