Posts Tagged ‘The Cynic’s Dictionary’

How Farcical!

May 10, 2017

Most people would define “farce” as an absurd event and may even go so far as to use words like  buffoonery or horseplay; events such as these would including crudeness and highly ludicrous or improbable situations.  Here are some of my favorite quotations on the topic of farce . . . (Source:  The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone)

“A genre that’s nearer to tragedy in its essence than comedy is.”  (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

“Tragedy with the trousers down.”  (Brian Rix)

Additionally, I found some additional quotations that are equally amusing . . .

“Life is the farce which everyone has to perform.”  (Arthur Rimbaud)

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”  (Karl Marx)

“The farce is finished. I go to seek a vast perhaps.”  (Francois Rabelais)

“Farce treats the improbably as probable and the impossible as possible.”  (George Pierce Baker)

“There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.”  (Mark Twain)

Beware of Censorship!

November 16, 2016

No one likes to be censored.  By definition, a censor is “an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.” (Source http://www.dictionary.com)

So, I thought I would consult my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary (by Aubrey Dillon-Malone) to see what definitions I could find . . .

Censor
“A man who knows more that he thinks you ought to.”  (Laurence Peter)

Censors
“People who are paid to have dirty minds.”  (John Trevelyan)

Censorship
“A more depraving and corrupting practice than anything pornography can produce.”  (Tony Smythe)

“A legal corollary of public modesty.”  (Jonathan Miller)

“An excuse to talk about sex.”  (Fran Lebowitz)

“A practice as indefensible as infanticide.”  (Rebecca West)

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

An Autobiography By Any Other Name!

November 9, 2016

An autobiography is actually a literary genre and is defined (by Google) as “an account of a person’s life written by that person.”   However, I found some rather interesting alternative definitions in my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary.  Enjoy!

“An obituary in serial form with the last instalment missing.” (Quentin Crisp)

“Alibi-ography.”  (Clare Boothe Luce)

“A book that suggests the only thing wrong with the author is . . . his memory.”  (Franklin P. Jones)

“Books that ought to begin with Chapter Two.” (Ellery Sedgwick)

“Unrivaled vehicles for telling the truth — about others.”  (Philip Guedalla)

“What is now as common as adultery — and hardly less reprehensible.”  (John Grigg)

“The life story of a motor car.”  (Peter Eldin)

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

Do You Have Style?!

June 8, 2016

Style, often defined as either a manner of doing something, a distinctive appearance, or elegance or sophistication, is still a very individualistic thing and every person has their own.  This doesn’t stop others from trying to emulate certain popular styles or looks.   I found a few other definitions of style in my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary:

“Knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”  (Gore Vidal)

“When they’re running you out of town and you make it look as if you’re leading a parade.”  (William Battie)

“Self-plagiarism.”  (Alfred Hitchcock)

One of my favorite reference to “style” was in the movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” as Professor Dumbledore exits the room.

The Urban Lifestyle!

May 25, 2016

I can’t explain it, but despite having grown up on a farm (a vineyard with winery, actually) in rural northern lower Michigan, I have always been drawn to the city.  I’m apparently much more comfortable with the hustle and bustle that accompanies an urban environment.  So here are some definitions of the word “city” that I found in my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

“A place where you are least likely  to get a bite from a wild sheep.” (Brendan Behan)

“Not a concrete jungle, but a human zoo.”  (Desmond Morris)

“Millions of people being lonely together.”  (Henry Thoreau)

“The only desert still available to us.”  (Albert Camus)

A Different Kind of Comedy!

November 6, 2015

Happy Friday!  I’m a real fan of comedy.  I have always been of the opinion that life was too short to worry about taking too many things too seriously.  So, when I consulted my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary I found the following definitions for “comedian,” “comedy,” and “comics.”  Enjoy!

Comedian
“The goof the relays the olden gag.”  (Herbert Prochnow)

Comedy
“Emotional hang-gliding.”  (Robin Williams)

“Society protecting itself with a smile.”  (J.B. Priestley)

“A funny way of being serious.”  (Peter Ustinov)

“The last refuge of the non-conformist mind.”  (Gilbert Seldes)

“Like sodomy, an unnatural act.”   (Marty Feldman)

Comics
“Famously tragic people.”  (Marlon Brando)

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

Vulgarity!

October 2, 2015

While perusing my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary I came across a few definitions for “vulgarity” that I deemed worthy of sharing.

“Simply the conduct of other people.”  (Oscar Wilde)

“The garlic in the salad of taste.”  (Cyril Connolly)

“The rich man’s modest contribution to democracy.”  (Samuel Johnson)

“Vulgarity is, in reality, nothing but a modern, chic, pert descendant of the goddess Dullness.”  (Dame Edith Sitwell)

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

Old Age?

September 23, 2015

I would hazard to guess that any definition of “old age” would have to take into consideration the definer’s age. So. I decided to consult my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary (by Aubrey Dillon-Malone) to see what whimsical definitions were contained therein.  Here’s are the definitions I found.

“A lot of crossed-off names in an address book.”  (Ronald Blythe)

“A very high price to pay for maturity.”  (Tom Stoppard)

“Always 15 years older than I what am.”  (Bernard Baruch) — I like this one a lot.

“Not so bad when you consider the alternative.”  (Maurice Chevalier)

“Life’s parody.”  (Simone de Beauvoir)

“When you try to straighten the wrinkles on your socks and discover you’re not wearing any.”  (Leonard Knott)

“The period in life in which we compensate for the vices that remain by reviling those we have no longer the vigour to commit.”  (Ambrose Bierce)

What Do You Think Of . . . These Countries?

August 2, 2015

Last month, I shared some quotations about assorted cities (courtesy of entries in my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary).  This month I will share some of the quotations about specific countries.  Enjoy!

America: “A mistake, a giant mistake.”  (Sigmund Freud)

Australia: “The only country in the world where the word ‘academic’ is regularly used as a term of abuse.”  (Leslie Kramer)

Belgium: “A country invented by the British to annoy the French.”  (Charles de Gaulle)

Britain: “A society where the ruling class does not rule, the working class does not work, and the middle class is not in the middle.”  (George Mikes)

Canada: “A country useful for only providing me with furs.”  (Madame de Pompadour)

England: “The paradise of little men, and the purgatory of great ones.”  (Cardinal John Newman)

France: “A country where the money falls apart in your hands and you can’t tear the toilet paper.”  (Billy Wilder)

Holland: “Such a low country, it’s only saved by being dammed.”  (Thomas Hood)

Ireland: “The only place in the world where procrastination takes on a sense of urgency.”  (Dave Allen)

Israel: “The only country where one can say of someone that he is a Jew without being an anti-semite.”  (Jean Paul Sartre)

Italy: “A country so blessed, that for every weed they destroy, two spring up in its place.”  (Leonardo Sciascia)

New Zealand: “A country of thirty million sheep, three million of whom think they’re human beings.”   (Barry Humphries)

Switzerland: “The land of peace, understanding, milk chocolate . . . and all those lovely snow-capped tax benefits.”   (David Niven)

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

What Do You Think Of . . . ?

July 24, 2015

As I was perusing my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary the other day, I noticed that there were several entries for specific cities.  I found it quite interesting and informative.  Here are a few.

Boston: “A city with champagne tastes and beer pocketbooks.”  (Alan Friedberg)

Chappaquiddick: “The name of a place brought up by political candidates every time they say they are not going to bring it up.” (Mose Russell)

Chicago: “Virgin territory for whorehouses.”  (Al Capone)

Dublin: “A place that’s much worse than London, but not so bad as Iceland.”  (Samuel Johnson)

Edmonton: “Not exactly the end of the world . . . but you can see it from there.”  (Ralph Klein)

Hollywood: “Where people from Iowa mistake each other for movie stars.”  (Fred Allen)

Las Vegas: “A place with all kinds of gambling devices — roulette tables, slot machines, wedding chapels.”   (Stanley Davis)

Los Angeles: “Seventy-two suburbs in search of a city.”  (Dorothy Parker)

Oxford: “Like a chat show, but with more people.”  (Alan Coren)

Paris: “A city asleep — and snoring loudly.”  (Ned Rorem)

Venice: “Like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one go.”  (Truman Capote)

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