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Quotes of the Day for 24 June 2004 – The Devil's Dictionary

Ambrose "Bitter" Bierce was born at Horse Cave Creek, Ohio on this day in 1842. A contemporary and friend of Mark Twain, Bierce was more consistently acerbic. He collected a number of definitions he had worked into his writing and published them as The Devil's Dictionary in 1911. While many of those definitions make little sense in today's context, most are still good for a chuckle. I can't bear to cut the collection down to the normal count, so here's a double dose of bitterness.

Van's signature


The quotes:

Absurdity, n. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's Own opinion.

Academy, n. A modern school where football is taught.

Advice, n. The suggestions you give someone else which you hope will work for your benefit.

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.

Aphorism, n. Predigested wisdom.

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

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told, by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

Harbour, n. A place where ships taking shelter from storms are exposed to the fury of the Customs.

Merchant, n. One engaged in a commercial pursuit. A commercial pursuit is one in which the thing pursued is a dollar.

Old Age, n. That time in life when we condemn the vices we no longer have the enterprise to commit.

Politics, n. A strife of interest masquerading as a contest of principles.

Year, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.
     - All from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce


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