Usually, the difference between ordinary insults/name-calling and actionable slander is taken to be that non-actionable insults are either subjective statements that can't unambiguously be determined to be true or false (for instance, "Ronald is an asshole") or else statements that, while objectively false, are obviously hyperbolic or sarcastic (for instance, "Donald is a brain-dead puppy-eating lizard from Cygnus X-1"), whereas actionable slander consists of objectively-false statements that can plausibly be taken literally, due to not being obviously hyperbolic or sarcastic (for instance, "Donald is a convicted child molester").
However, a number of common, run-of-the-mill insults appear, going by the above rule of thumb, like they would be slanderous, due to (seemingly) making plausible, objective claims about the target:
- For instance, if Ronald calls Donald a "retarded bastard son of a senile crackwhore", he's (going by the literal meaning of the individual members of this string of insults) claiming that Donald is intellectually-disabled and was born out of wedlock to a crack-cocaine-addicted prostitute suffering from dementia, all of which are things that could potentially be true, even if taken literally.
- If Donald then retaliates by calling Ronald a "pigfucking cretin cocksucker", and we take this string of insults literally, he's making the claim that Ronald suffers from congenital hypothyroidism, has sex with pigs, and practices fellatio, all of which, again, could plausibly be true.
When insulting someone else using one or more insults that could appear to be making plausible, objective claims (such as the examples above), when does run-of-the-mill name-calling cross the line into actionable slander?
Looking specifically for united-states answers here, due to the unusual characteristics of U.S. defamation law (and also because I live in the States).