Saturday, April 28, 2012

the devil's lexicographer

I see that the Library of America has published a volume of works by Ambrose Bierce, including his delightful Devil's Dictionary. It is almost a full 100 years since his strange disappearance and presumed death.

But his cynical definitions remain still applicable.

Among my favorites:
Plan: To bother about the best  method of achieving an accidental result.
Peace: In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
War: A by-product of the arts of peace.
Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
Senate: A body of elderly gentlemen charged with high duties and misdemeanors.
Conservative: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
Lawyer: One skilled in circumvention of the law.

See for yourself.

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