Posts Tagged ‘Definitions’

The Brain . . . !

March 8, 2018

. . . is definitely the most important organ in the body. It controls and coordinates everything.   But let’s take a look at some unconventional (and more humorous) definitions of the “brain,” shall we?

“Something that starts working the moment you’re born and doesn’t stop until you stand up to speak in public.”  (George Jessel)

“An apparatus with which we think we think.”  (Ambrose Bierce)

“An organ the starts working the moment you wake up, and doesn’t stop until you get to the office.”  (Robert Frost)

“An appendage of the genital glands.”  (Alexander King)

Source: The Cynics Dictionary, by Aubrey Dillon-Malone, p. 31-32.


The Art of Advertising!

February 8, 2018

I am certainly no expert when it comes to such things as advertising, but in today’s day and age with the amount of information available coupled with the speed with which it can be shared, the importance of good advertising cannot be over-emphasized.  However, on a lighter note, here are some noteworthy quotations on the topic of advertising (courtesy of The Cynic’s Dictionary, by Aubrey Dillon-Malone).  Enjoy!

Advertising is . . . .

“Legalized lying.”  (H.G. Wells)

“The greatest art form of the 20th century.”  (Marshall McLuhan)

“The most truthful part of a newspaper.”  (Thomas Jefferson)

“The cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if they’re worthless.”  (Sinclair Lewis)

“The rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.”  (George Orwell)

“The most fun you can have with your clothes on.”  (Jerry Della Femina)

The art of making whole lies out of half-truths.”  (Edgar A. Shoaff)


Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone, p. 7.

My Humblest Apologies!

July 9, 2017

How hard is it to offer an apology when an honest mistake is made?  Not very hard at all, and yet so many people are challenged (or refuse) to do so.  I would have to say that it would be best for all concerned (in the long run) to just swallow your pride, apologize, get over it, and move on.  Life is too short to have to endure the ill-feelings that are sure to result from not having done so.  Here are a few of my favorite quotations regarding an apology.

Apology has been defined as . . .
“Egotism the wrong side out.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.)

“The only thing that will allow you to get the last word in with a woman.”  (Danny Cummins)

“An apology? Bah! Disgusting! Cowardly! Beneath the dignity of any gentleman, however wrong he might be.”  (Steve Martin)

Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

Heaven Versus Hell!

March 24, 2015

The definitions of words can vary greatly depending upon the dictionary one consults.  For example, according to a popular online dictionary (, heaven is defined as: “the abode of God, the angels, and the spirits of the righteous after death; the place or state of existence of the blessed after the mortal life.”  Hell is defined as: “the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death; the abode of evil and condemned spirits; Gehenna or Tartarus.”

Well, according to The Cynic’s Dictionary (by Aubrey Dillon- Malone), these words have drastically different (and certainly more amusing) definitions.

“An English policeman, a French cook, a German engineer, an Italian lover — and everything organized by the Swiss.”  (John Elliott)

“An English cook, a French engineer, a German policeman, a Swiss lover — and everything organized by the Italians.”   (John Elliott)

What Kind of Reader Are You?!

March 13, 2015

I ran across this wonderful quotation the other day: “I divide all readers into two classes; those who read to remember and those who read to forget.” (William Lyon Phelps).   Depending on what I’m reading (and why), I find myself fitting into both classes.  But, I primarily read “to forget.”  For me, reading is entertainment; an escape from the real world where I can allow my imagination to run wild.  I don’t expect to remember every detail of a novel . . . I hope for the enjoyment of a good story.

Here are a few definitions of reading, readers, and books courtesy of The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

“Someone who comes under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.”  (Dennis Potter)

“An ashamed way of killing time disguised under a dignified name.”  (Ernest Dimnet)

“An ingenious device for drugging thought.”  (Sir Arthur Helps)

“Things printed by people who don’t understand them, sold by people who don’t understand them, read and reviewed by people who don’t understand them, and even written by people who don’t understand them”  (G.C. Lichtenberg)

Actors & Acting!

February 22, 2015

The 87th Academy Awards will air tonight . . . so allow me to poke some fun at actors and acting.  Here are some notable quotations/definitions courtesy of The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.  Enjoy!

“Someone who can remember his briefest notice well into senescence, long after he has forgotten his phone number or where he lives.”  (Anonymous)

“A guy who if you ain’t talking about him, he ain’t listening.”  (Marlon Brando)

“A ghost looking for a body to inhabit.” (Gall Godwin)

“The only honest hypocrites.” (William Hazlitt)

“People who should be treated like cattle.”  (Alfred Hitchcock)

“People who should keep their mouths shut and hope for the best.”  (Richard Burton)

“Someone with no ability to waits to go on alimony.”  (Jackie Stallone)

“The most minor of gifts, and not a very high class way to earn a living.  After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four.”  (Katharine Hepburn)

“A good training for political life.  The only problem is the speeches are harder to learn.”  (Ronald Reagan)

“A way of living out one’s insanity.”  (Isabelle Huppert)

“Standing up naked and turning around very slowly.”  (Rosalind Russell)

“Farting about in disguise.”  (Peter O’Toole)


February 9, 2015

I’m sure that it is safe to assume that we all have had the opportunity to serve on at least one committee in our lives and were able to witness firsthand the incredible groups dynamics involved in committee work.  Well, here are some fresh takes on the definition of a committee courtesy of The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.  Enjoy!  (The last one is actually my favorite.)

“A cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.”  (John A. Lincoln)

“An animal with four back legs.”  (John Le Carré)

“A group of people for keep minutes and waste hours.”  (Milton Berle)

“A small group of the unqualified, appointed by the unthinking, to undertake the utterly unnecessary.”  (Fibber Magee)

It’s Constitution Week!

September 17, 2014

An observance to commemorate the adoption of the United States Constitution (on September 17, 1787). The observance runs annually from September 17 to September 23.  This week we have tables set up in each of our buildings that ask the question:  “What is democracy?”  So naturally, the cynic in me went running tomy copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary for a definition (or two) and here’s what I discovered . . .

“A system in which you say what you like and do what you’re told.”  (Gerard Barry)

“A system of choosing your dictators, after they’ve told you what you think it is you want to hear.”  (Alan Coren)

“Government by discussion — but it’s only effective if you can stop people talking.”  (Clement Attlee)

“An institution in which the whole is equal to the scum of the parts.”  (Keith Preston)

“A political system that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.”  (George Bernard Shaw)

“The aristocracy of blackguards.”  (Lord Byron)

“The worst form of government — except for all the others.”  (Winston Churchill)

“The art of running the circus from the monkey cage.”  (H.L. Mencken)

“The right to make the wrong choice.”  (Glenn Ford)

“The theory that holds that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”  (H.L. Mencken)

I Tend To Be Very _______ical!

September 10, 2014

How would you fill in the blank?  I can come up with several (negative ones). . . for starters: critical, cynical, skeptical . . . and following a twenty-five year career in law enforcement, none of these really surprise me.  But what is skepticism really?  It has been defined as “doubt as to the truth of something.”   But according to The Cynic’s Dictionary (by Aubrey Dillon-Malone), skepticism is . . .

“The beginning of faith.” (Oscar Wilde)

“The chastity of the intellect.”  (George Santayana)

“The first step on the road to philosophy.”  (Diderot)

What other words can you come up with to fill in the blank?  Here are some more that came to me.  I really can’t claim all of these traits, and I am sure that there are many more than what I have listed here, but . . .

  • Practical
  • Classical
  • Comical
  • Tragical
  • Magical
  • Hierarchical
  • Optical
  • Musical
  • Radical
  • Whimsical
  • Vertical
  • Cyclical
  • Medical
  • Tactical
  • Nautical
  • Logical
  • Quizzical
  • Identical
  • Typical
  • Topical
  • Biblical
  • Chemical
  • Ethical
  • Clinical
  • Mystical
  • Clerical
  • Farcical
  • Lyrical
  • Mythical
  • Physical
  • Surgical
  • Tropical

A Cynic’s View of Education!

July 26, 2014

Yes, I will be the first to admit that I have a well-developed level of cynicism in my life.  Perhaps this is why I really enjoy my occasional meanderings through The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.  This book provides just enough humor to allow you a brief respite from the realities of the day.  Here is a cynical look at education . . . enjoy!

“The inculcation of the incomprehensible into the ignorant by the incompetent.”  (Josiah Stamp)

“What remains after we have forgotten everything we’ve been taught.”  (George Savile)

“Something that demonstrates to you how little other people know.”  (T.C. Haliburton)

“A method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices.”  (Laurence Peter)

“Learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.”  (Daniel Boorstin)