The Devil’s Dictionary

I recently purchased The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. It is a satirical dictionary that was begun as a newspaper serialization in 1881 and continued erratically until 1906. It was first published in a single book under the title The Cynic’s Word Book, because (according to Bierce) one of the papers in which it was originally published was a Christian paper and found the use of ‘Devil’ in the title to be offensive. Considering that they did not find the use of ‘nigger’ in one of the definitions to be offensive, it seems the hypocrisy of Christians has not changed much in the last 100 years.

I highly recommend owning this book, or at least having a browse of the online version, available for free. It’s for definitions like this that the man has my respect:

HOMEOPATHIST, n. The humorist of the medical profession.

4 Responses to “The Devil’s Dictionary”

  1. During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review… Aliens should stand at attention.

    surely it can’t be said that all aliens use flags, and how do they know they are to stand at attention. also, what if they are attacking, they can’t very well stop to stand to attention every time they see the flag. that would just be silly.

  2. and what if it’s not possible for them to stand to attention? what if we’re talking about creatures without limbs or backbones?

  3. well, since we know that all aliens look like humans in rubber suits, i don’t think it’s an issue

  4. Ain’t that a bitch? Well, they say the Devil’s in the details.

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