One to Ten

I was thinking about how rude some people can be, when I stopped to consider where they would fall on the canonical 1 to 10 scale.

Of course, when assigning a level of rudeness on the 1 to 10 scale, you have to think about what the extreme ends of the scale represent. In this case, the 1 would represent “polite”, which is the least rude one can be.

But then I tried to figure out what the high end of the scale would be. What would 10 on the rude scale be? Would it be the rudest person ever, like, say, Andrew Dice Clay’s public persona, or even Rush Limbaugh? Someone who is barely socialized and whose every utterance is designed to shock and dismay?

The problem is, I kept thinking of more and more examples of people who were even ruder than that… like, say, Osama bin Laden, or Dick Cheney. But then we’re getting into a definitional gray area: are they rude or are they simply evil?

And I decided that there was no way to assign a top end to the 1 to 10 scale of rudeness. Rudeness, it turns out, is somewhere in the middle on some other scale, a moral scale.

It’s kinda funny like that.