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Dictionary information for THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY ((C)1911 Released April 15 1993):

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               The Internet Wiretap 1st Online Edition of
                         THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
                             AMBROSE BIERCE
              Copyright 1911 by Albert and Charles Boni, Inc.
                  A Public Domain Text, Copyright Expired
                          Released April 15 1993
                    Entered by Aloysius of &tSftDotIotE
   _The Devil's Dictionary_ was begun in a weekly paper in 1881, and was
   continued in a desultory way at long intervals until 1906.  In that
   year a large part of it was published in covers with the title _The
   Cynic's Word Book_, a name which the author had not the power to
   reject or happiness to approve.  To quote the publishers of the
   present work:
       "This more reverent title had previously been forced upon him by
   the religious scruples of the last newspaper in which a part of the
   work had appeared, with the natural consequence that when it came out
   in covers the country already had been flooded by its imitators with a
   score of 'cynic' books -- _The Cynic's This_, _The Cynic's That_, and
   _The Cynic's t'Other_.  Most of these books were merely stupid, though
   some of them added the distinction of silliness.  Among them, they
   brought the word 'cynic' into disfavor so deep that any book bearing
   it was discredited in advance of publication."
       Meantime, too, some of the enterprising humorists of the country
   had helped themselves to such parts of the work as served their needs,
   and many of its definitions, anecdotes, phrases and so forth, had
   become more or less current in popular speech.  This explanation is
   made, not with any pride of priority in trifles, but in simple denial
   of possible charges of plagiarism, which is no trifle.  In merely
   resuming his own the author hopes to be held guiltless by those to
   whom the work is addressed -- enlightened souls who prefer dry wines
   to sweet, sense to sentiment, wit to humor and clean English to slang.
       A conspicuous, and it is hope not unpleasant, feature of the book
   is its abundant illustrative quotations from eminent poets, chief of
   whom is that learned and ingenius cleric, Father Gassalasca Jape,
   S.J., whose lines bear his initials.  To Father Jape's kindly
   encouragement and assistance the author of the prose text is greatly

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