Quinn's Devious Dictionary

by Lee Daniel Quinn

	AMBIGUITY, n. [1] the lack of clarity in speech -- or, perhaps,
	something else; [2] the language of politics and statesmanship
	DICTIONARY, n. [1] the only place where: (a) divorce comes before
	marriage, and (b) success comes before work; [2] a malevolent
	literary device for cramping the growth of language and making it
	hard and inelastic.  This dictionary, however, is a more useful
	work {Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary}
	HUMOR, n. [1] a feat, after the invention of language, which is
	man's proudest achievement
	ITALIC, n. [1] the language spoken by ancient Italians
	KANGAROO, n. [1] is actually "what did you say?" in the language of the
	Australian natives. {Captain Cook's mistake}
	KINDNESS, n. [1] a language that the dumb can speak and the deaf can hear
	LANGUAGE, n. [1] the most important form of intercourse practiced by man
	-- next to sex; [2] a system which was developed to allow humanity to
	complain without killing or maiming.
	LINGUIST, n. [1] a talented fellow who has mastered the ability to make
	mistakes in more than one language; [2] a person who can be misunderstood
	in many languages

	LOVE, n. [1] the most slippery word in the human language -- used by
	knaves to seduce, by fools for comfort, and by most men to placate the
	female of the species
	OFFICIALESE, n. [1] a  government language where you can understand the
	words, but not the sentences
	PHILOSOPHY, n. [1] a system of labeling and redefining our language to
	allow us to rescue the absurd
	POET(S) n. [1] an individual so in love with language who can, for the
	sake of art, survive any hardship -- except a misprint
	RIOT, n. [1] the language of the unheard
	SLANDER, n. [1] to lie about someone -- or tell the truth
	SLANG, n. [1] a language that takes off its coat, spits on its hands, and
	goes to work; [2] the one stream of poetry which is continually flowing
	SLOGAN, n. [1] a good old American substitute for the facts; [2] our
	modern commercial replacement for quality; [3] a politician's banner,
	often changed, but always held high above the voters brains
	SPECIALIST, n. [1] a learned person who can name a horse in nine langu-
	ages and buys a cow to ride
	YIDDISH, n. [1] a tongue that never takes its tongue out of its cheek;
	[2] the rich traditional language of organized complaint

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