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The Devils Dictionary - Ambrose Bierce

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_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, 
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