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The Dumbbell's Dictionary
Jack W. Richey
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I have paraphrased and in some cases quoted in depth with attribution from such a
number and variety of sources that any attempt on my part to list them here would be
nothing short of sheer folly . In more than one case, however, I stand on the shoulders of
Giants. I thank them all.
Suffice it to say that, as will become readily apparent, much of the material contained in
the pages that follow originated with yours truly.
Inspired by my recent rereading of Ambrose Bierce’s marvelous „The Devil’s Dictionary’
At play with words in the Fields of the Lord.
What follows is written with the complete misanthropic understanding that very few of
the readers of this set will have the broadband frame of reference that will, perhaps, make
certain portions of it comprehensible. In other words, illiterates will not benefit from it.
Semi-literates, on the other hand, may just have a great deal of fun. Hence, the title, The
Please do not infer from this opening that the person of average or above average
intelligence cannot profit from what follows. That profit is but one of my many goals in
my having crafting this admittedly very poor follow-on to Bierce’s magnificent work.
And just in passing, I readily admit to an animus, or should it be animadversion, against
contemporary American liberalism, in all of its wondrous manifestations.
The English language has been, from to time, described by so-called „experts.’ such as
Noam Chomsky, as being even more difficult to master than, for example, Chinese. I, as
an admitted non-expert, beg to differ. We have an alphabet of only twenty-six letters, not
thousands of pictographs or pictograms. The burden of proof, therefore, as regards
complexity, rests on the experts, not on rank amateurs such as yours truly.
True enough, English has many, many rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling;
enough to cause the neophyte heartburn, especially as the language has so many instances
of violating those rules. That said, one can wonder why English (American or British) has
now become the Lingua Franca of the world. To be frank, letters are easier to deal with
than are pictograms
Finally, lest I be accused of being an elitist, allow me to deal with that question from the
outset, for I am indeed an elitist, having spent the great majority of my life surrounded by
The discerning reader will note, I suspect, that my series of definitions is not, perhaps,
what could be called „neutral.’ As a matter of fact, most of them could more properly be
called explications and perhaps commentaries with an agenda rather than definitions. The