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Craig Smith. Fredrik Backman. Ann Patchett. John Bishop.

Trevor Noah. Billy Connolly. Randall Munroe.


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Vocational Vocabulary

Gyles Brandreth. Jason Hazeley. Chuck Palahniuk. Trixie Mattel. Running Press. Katie Kirby.

The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce

Curious Zelda. James Alexander. Emlyn Rees. Blindboy Boatclub. Jon Ronson. Sophie Kinsella. David Mitchell. Liz Climo. James Rallison. Bill Bryson. Jenny Slate. Beth Evans.

Book Review of "The Devil's Dictionary" by Ambrose Bierce

Matt Parker. Dav Pilkey. Tina Fey. Sarah Knight. Niccolo Machiavelli. Friedrich Nietzsche. Henry David Thoreau. Marcus Aurelius. Franz Kafka. Hermann Hesse. Jalalu'L-Din Rumi. Joseph Conrad. Henrik Ibsen. In merely resuming his own the author hopes to be held guiltless by those to whom the work is addressed—enlightened souls who prefer dry wines to sweet, sense to sentiment, wit to humor and clean English to slang. A conspicuous, and it is hope not unpleasant, feature of the book is its abundant illustrative quotations from eminent poets, chief of whom is that learned and ingenius cleric, Father Gassalasca Jape, S.

To Father Jape's kindly encouragement and assistance the author of the prose text is greatly indebted. A decent and customary mental attitude in the presence of wealth of power.


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  7. Peculiarly appropriate in an employee when addressing an employer. Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside. An act whereby a sovereign attests his sense of the high temperature of the throne. The temple of the god Stomach, in whose worship, with sacrificial rights, all true men engage.

    From women this ancient faith commands but a stammering assent. They sometimes minister at the altar in a half-hearted and ineffective way, but true reverence for the one deity that men really adore they know not. If woman had a free hand in the world's marketing the race would become graminivorous.


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    The natural equipment to accomplish some small part of the meaner ambitions distinguishing able men from dead ones. In the last analysis ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity. Perhaps, however, this impressive quality is rightly appraised; it is no easy task to be solemn. Not conforming to standard.

    Why did this block occur?

    In matters of thought and conduct, to be independent is to be abnormal, to be abnormal is to be detested. Wherefore the lexicographer adviseth a striving toward the straiter [sic] resemblance of the Average Man than he hath to himself. Whoso attaineth thereto shall have peace, the prospect of death and the hope of Hell.

    Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country. They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize. Sudden, without ceremony, like the arrival of a cannon- shot and the departure of the soldier whose interests are most affected by it. Samuel Johnson beautifully said of another author's ideas that they were "concatenated without abruption. Peculiarly exposed to the tooth of detraction; vilifed; hopelessly in the wrong; superseded in the consideration and affection of another. A person with an income who has had the forethought to remove himself from the sphere of exaction.

    Independent, irresponsible. An absolute monarchy is one in which the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins. Not many absolute monarchies are left, most of them having been replaced by limited monarchies, where the sovereign's power for evil and for good is greatly curtailed, and by republics, which are governed by chance. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.

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    A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others. One associated with another in a crime, having guilty knowledge and complicity, as an attorney who defends a criminal, knowing him guilty. This view of the attorney's position in the matter has not hitherto commanded the assent of attorneys, no one having offered them a fee for assenting. To affirm another's guilt or unworth; most commonly as a justification of ourselves for having wronged him.

    In the surprising condition of the Crusader who absently pulled at his forelock some hours after a Saracen scimitar had, unconsciously to him, passed through his neck, as related by de Joinville. To confess. Acknowledgement of one another's faults is the highest duty imposed by our love of truth. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. A degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.