(En) Devil's Dictionary Definitions

Choronzon Christ (choronzon_christ@hotmail.com)
Wed, 03 Sep 1997 11:27:48 PDT


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A few definition's from Ambrose Bierce's _The Devil's Dictionary_.

ABASEMENT, n. A decent and customary mental attitude in the presence of wealth of power. Peculiarly appropriate in an employee when addressing an employer.

ABORIGINES, n. Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country. They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize.

ALLIANCE, n. In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.

BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other.

COMMERCE, n. A kind of transaction in which A plunders from B the goods of C, and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of money belonging to E.

CONSERVATIVE, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

DISTANCE, n. The only thing that the rich are willing for the poor to call theirs, and keep.

ECONOMY, n. Purchasing the barrel of whiskey that you do not need for the price of the cow that you cannot afford.

ELECTOR, n. One who enjoys the sacred privilege of voting for the man of another man's choice.

IMPUNITY, n. Wealth.

INCUMBENT, n. A person of the liveliest interest to the outcumbents.

INSURRECTION, n. An unsuccessful revolution. Disaffection's failure to substitute misrule for bad government.

JUSTICE, n. A commodity which in a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.

LABOR, n. One of the processes by which A acquires property for B.

LAWFUL, adj. Compatible with the will of a judge having jurisdiction.

MINE, adj. Belonging to me if I can hold or seize it.

PATRIOT, n. One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.

PATRIOTISM, n. Combustible rubbish read to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.

PIRACY, n. Commerce without its folly-swaddles, just as God made it.

POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

POLITICIAN, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. When we wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.

PRICE, n. Value, plus a reasonable sum for the wear and tear of conscience in demanding it.

RADICALISM, n. The conservatism of to-morrow injected into the affairs of to-day.

VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

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