Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Silly Definitions

Lately, I have been doing a lot of silly definitions. It is a writer's game: Take a word and define it in a humorous and witty manner. I was first introduced to this game when I was a kid. One of my favorite books were filled with puns and silly definitions.

Antifreeze: What your aunt does when you steal her blankets.

I thought it was terribly witty when I was a kid, and I still get a smile on my face whenever I think back on it. As an adult, I stumbled across a collection of definitions made up by Ambrose Bierce for his newspaper columns; the collection is referred to by the name The Devil's Dictionary.

CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

And I LOVE his definition of the Freemasons.

FREEMASONS, n. An order with secret rites, grotesque ceremonies and fantastic costumes, which, originating in the reign of Charles II, among working artisans of London, has been joined sucessively by the dead of past centuries in unbroken retrogression until now it embraces all the generations of man in the hither side of Adam and is drumming up distinguished recruits among the pre-Creational inhabitants of Chaos and Formless Void. The order was founded at different times by Charlemagne, Julius Caesar, Cyrus, Solomon, Zoroaster, Confucious, Thothmes, and Buddha. Its emblems and symbols have been found in the Catacombs of Paris and Rome, on the stones of the Parthenon and the Chinese Great Wall, among the temples of Karnak and Palmyra and in the Egyptian Pyramids---always by a Freemason.

I will admit that it was the inspiration for my own humorous definition of Golden Dawn.

The reason that I started to write my own definitions down lately was that I recently read The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes in literature class. One of the characters in that novel is Ambrose Bierce, who disappeared at the time that the book is taking place. It reminded me of this game.

Most of my definitions are political in nature, and are ending up in my political blog that I recently started. I am not above commenting on things that I see happening. But that is just the side-purpose of creating them.

The primary purpose is to have fun and loosen up, so that writer's block does not set in. Odds are that I will be writing a lot more before summer is over because this summer I can't afford to have writing block set in. Writing is my profession, the way that I make a living, and it is not like I am going to win the lottery anytime in the near future.

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