September 22, 2014

Addenda to The Devil's Dictionary - No.2

Artist n.
A person who calls himself, or herself, an artist.

Bright n.
An atheist in search of a congregation.

Community n.
Any grouping of people, proximate or otherwise, sharing some common characteristic and therefore assumed to have a meaningful social bond (e.g. the double amputee caregivers community.)

Coward n.
A bad guy.  A general purpose insult with no particular meaning.  Immediately after the 9/11 attacks the perpetrators, who died voluntarily for their cause, were branded “cowards”.  Since that time, this usage has persisted.  (see: “Hero”)

Denier n.
Originally, a holocaust denier (i.e. a person who denies that the extraordinarily well documented extermination of the Jews by Nazi Germany ever occurred.)  Now, simply a term of derision for anyone who is skeptical about something the speaker has come to believe.

Facebook n.
A playground in cyberspace constructed to meet the rather dissimilar needs of teenagers, grandmothers, and pedophiles.  A place where millions of people who are appalled by slavery can attempt to sell themselves to the rest of the world.

Judgmental adj.
Having standards.

National Conversation n.
US Politics:  A fictitious backyard chat between 300 million amiable neighbors.  The call for such an exchange is popular among the political elites precisely because it is an impossibility with an appealing democratic smell.

A white non-flagellant.

Small Talk n.
A species of speech act equivalent in intent to the tail wagging of the domestic dog.

A communication forum based on the assumption that a paragraph is unnecessary and verbose.  An assault on language, and ultimately on thought.  In nature, tweeting songbirds are actually engaging in mating rituals and territorial disputes.  The difference between Twitter and nature, then, is largely one of musical tastes.

(see: Addenda to the devil's dictionary - no1. )

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