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an essential addition to any library

September 17, 2009

Rick Bayan’s The Cynic’s Dictionary:

cynic's dictionary

I can vouch for the improved vision, it’s largely due to the clarifying gales of laughter one experiences upon reading this book. The dictionary format is fantastic for imbibing as little or as much as one needs at a time. 

Some sample entries:

ABNORMAL    Occupying a point outside the shifting boundaries of social convention, like a same-sex couple before the 1970s or a twenty-two-year-old virgin today. Others now living beyond the fringe include rhyming poets, English-speaking cab drivers, solitary restaurant patrons, celibate celebrities, non-academics who read anything written before 1920, businesspeople who read anything written before last Friday, Japanese underachievers, American students who can locate Japan on a map, and anyone who still says whom.

ABSTRACT ART    Incoherent dabs of paint in which serious critics detect shadings of metaphysical doubt or alienation, when in fact the artist was simply suffering the effects of an undigested meatloaf.

ANGST    A form of suffering caused by too much thinking; a phenomenon probably incomprehensible to anyone who owns a recreational vehicle.

BEER    An intoxicating golden brew that reemerges virtually unchanged one hour later.

DENIAL    How an optimist keeps from becoming a pessimist.

DNA    A complex organic molecule characterized as the building block of life and appropriately shaped like a spiral staircase to nowhere.

ERUDITE    Exhibiting a degree of book learning fatal to success in any business or romantic enterprise.

MERGER    When 1 + 1 = 1, with the remainder going on unemployment.

NEUROTIC    Sane but unhappy about it.

QUAGMIRE    Any situation more easily entered into than exited from; e.g., a guerilla war, a bad marriage or a conversation with an insurance salesman.

ZOMBIE    One of the walking dead; a mirthless creature beloved by teenage horror-movie fans and those in charge of hiring at accounting firms.


Absolutely hilarious.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2009 8:21 pm

    That does look really funny. Thanks for mentioning it. I’ll have to put in on my list. Cheers!

  2. September 17, 2009 8:28 pm

    You should definitely check it out. Good to meet you.

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