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The Devil's Dictionary

Bierce, Ambrose (Book - 1993)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Devil's Dictionary
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Over 1,000 barbed and brilliant definitions by the 19th-century journalist and satirist often called "the American Swift." Congratulations are "the civility of envy." A coward is "one who in an emergency thinks with his legs." A historian is a "broad-gauge gossip," more. H. L. Mencken called these "some of the most gorgeous witticisms in the English language."
Authors: Bierce, Ambrose, 1842-1914?
Title: The devil's dictionary
Publisher: New York : Dover Publications, 1993
Characteristics: 139 p. ; 21 cm
Notes: "An unabridged republication of the work originally published as volume VII of The collected works of Ambrose Bierce in 1911 by the Neale Publishing Company, New York"--T.p. verso
ISBN: 0486275426
Branch Call Number: PS1097 .D4 1993
Statement of Responsibility: Ambrose Bierce
Subject Headings: Vocabulary Humor English language Semantics Humor English language Dictionaries Humor
Topical Term: Vocabulary
English language
English language
LCCN: 92046179
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Feb 18, 2013
  • unbalancedbutfair rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Perhaps it ought to be titled "a misanthropist's guide to society". His observations are intelligent, insightful and amusing. They are barbed, and his insight sometimes stretches further than many wish it would, but only a fool can deny the nugget of truth at the center of his definitions. Some rage at it, but I think it is wiser to laugh, groan, and smile at this collection of brutally honest (thought wittily recounted) appraisals of the human condition.

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