Monday, July 12, 2010

The Devil's Dictionary

The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce, is a satirical book published in 1911. It offers reinterpretations of terms in the English language.

My favorite examples:

AMBITION, n. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.

AMNESTY, n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.

BEAUTY, n. The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.

BORE, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.

LOVE, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder.

MISFORTUNE, n. The kind of fortune that never misses.

MONEY, n. A blessing that is of no advantage to us excepting when we part with it.

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