How kind are editors when passing on a submission? Are some more scathing than others? More to the point, have you ever sold a manuscript after one editor has written (with no particular effort at kindness) that he/she thought it was just plain lousy?
Editors can be as tired, burned out and snarky as anyone else. Generally however they reserve scathing commentary for cocktail parties and emails to Jossip.com and Gawker.com, cause they have to deal with us on an ongoing basis.
More likely is that I'll hear "we can't sell this worth spit" and then turn around and sell it to someone who thinks they not only can, they will sell it right off the cuspidorian floor.