Dictionary Of Famous Quotes

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Hash, x. There is no definition for this word - nobody knows what hash is. Famous, adj. Conspicuously miserable. Dictionary, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit it is the first.
Ambrose Bierce
This was like no library I had ever seen because, well, there were no books. Actually, I take that back. There was one book, but it was the lobby of the building, encased in a heavy glass box like a museum exhibit. I figured this was a book that was here to remind people of the past and the way things used to be. As I walked over to it, I wondered what would be one book chosen to take this place of honor. Was it a dictionary? A Bible? Maybe the complete works of Shakespeare or some famous poet. "Green Eggs and Ham?" Gunny said with surprise. "What kind of doctor writes about green eggs and ham?" "Dr. Seuss," I answered with a big smile on my face. "It's my favorite book of all time." Patrick joined us and said, "We took a vote. It was pretty much everybody's favorite. Landslide victory. I'm partial to Horton Hears A Who, but this is okay too." The people of Third Earth still had a sense of humor.
D.J. MacHale (The Never War (Pendragon, #3))
Ford3 Harrison (b.1942), American actor. He became internationally famous with his leading roles in the science-fiction film Star Wars (1977) and its two sequels.
Amazon Dictionary Account (Oxford Dictionary of English)
Cartesian,adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, Cogito ergo sum- whereby he was pleased to suppose he demonstrated the reality of human existence. The dictum might be improved, however, thus: Cogito cogito ergo sum- 'I think I think, therefore I think that I am'; as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
What was once an anonymous medium where anyone could be anyone—where, in the words of the famous New Yorker cartoon, nobody knows you’re a dog—is now a tool for soliciting and analyzing our personal data. According to one Wall Street Journal study, the top fifty Internet sites, from CNN to Yahoo to MSN, install an average of 64 data-laden cookies and personal tracking beacons each. Search for a word like “depression” on Dictionary.com, and the site installs up to 223 tracking cookies and beacons on your computer so that other Web sites can target you with antidepressants. Share an article about cooking on ABC News, and you may be chased around the Web by ads for Teflon-coated pots. Open—even for an instant—a page listing signs that your spouse may be cheating and prepare to be haunted with DNA paternity-test ads. The new Internet doesn’t just know you’re a dog; it knows your breed and wants to sell you a bowl of premium kibble.
Eli Pariser (The Filter Bubble)
promenade concert n. BRITISH a concert of classical music at which a part of the audience stands in an area without seating, for which tickets are sold at a reduced price. The most famous series of such concerts is the annual BBC Promenade Concerts (known as the Proms), instituted by Sir Henry Wood in 1895.
Catherine Soanes (Oxford Dictionary of English)
For the benefit of your research people, I would like to mention (so as to avoid any duplication of labor): that the planet is very like Mars; that at least seventeen states have Pinedales; that the end of the top paragraph Galley 3 is an allusion to the famous "canals" (or, more correctly, "channels") of Schiaparelli (and Percival Lowell); that I have thoroughly studied the habits of chinchillas; that Charrete is old French and should have one "t"; that Boke's source on Galley 9 is accurate; that "Lancelotik" is not a Celtic diminutive but a Slavic one; that "Betelgeuze" is correctly spelled with a "z", not an "s" as some dictionaries have it; that the "Indigo" Knight is the result of some of my own research; that Sir Grummore, mentioned both in Le Morte Darthur ad in Amadis de Gaul, was a Scotsman; that L'Eau Grise is a scholarly pun; and that neither bludgeons nor blandishments will make me give up the word "hobnailnobbing".
Vladimir Nabokov
Anything Bunny wrote was bound to be alarmingly original, since he began with such odd working materials and managed to alter them further by his befuddled scrutiny, but the John Donne paper must have been the worst of all the bad papers he ever wrote (ironic, given that it was the only thing he ever wrote that saw print. After he disappeared, a journalist asked for an excerpt from the missing young scholar's work and Marion gave him a copy of it, a laboriously edited paragraph of which eventually found its way into People magazine). Somewhere, Bunny had heard that John Donne had been acquainted with Izaak Walton, and in some dim corridor of his mind this friendship grew larger and larger, until in his mind the two men were practically interchangeable. We never understood how this fatal connection had established itself: Henry blamed it on Men of Thought and Deed, but no one knew for sure. A week or two before the paper was due, he had started showing up in my room about two or three in the morning, looking as if he had just narrowly escaped some natural disaster, his tie askew and his eyes wild and rolling. 'Hello, hello,' he would say, stepping in, running both hands through his disordered hair. 'Hope I didn't wake you, don't mind if I cut on the lights, do you, ah, here we go, yes, yes…' He would turn on the lights and then pace back and forth for a while without taking off his coat, hands clasped behind his back, shaking his head. Finally he would stop dead in his tracks and say, with a desperate look in his eye: 'Metahemeralism. Tell me about it. Everything you know. I gotta know something about metahemeralism.' 'I'm sorry. I don't know what that is.' 'I don't either,' Bunny would say brokenly. 'Got to do with art or pastoralism or something. That's how I gotta tie together John Donne and Izaak Walton, see.' He would resume pacing. 'Donne. Walton. Metahemeralism. That's the problem as I see it.' 'Bunny, I don't think "metahemeralism" is even a word.' 'Sure it is. Comes from the Latin. Has to do with irony and the pastoral. Yeah. That's it. Painting or sculpture or something, maybe.' 'Is it in the dictionary?' 'Dunno. Don't know how to spell it. I mean' – he made a picture frame with his hands – 'the poet and the fisherman. Parfait. Boon companions. Out in the open spaces. Living the good life. Metahemeralism's gotta be the glue here, see?' And so it would go, for sometimes half an hour or more, with Bunny raving about fishing, and sonnets, and heaven knew what, until in the middle of his monologue he would be struck by a brilliant thought and bluster off as suddenly as he had descended. He finished the paper four days before the deadline and ran around showing it to everyone before he turned it in. 'This is a nice paper, Bun -,' Charles said cautiously. 'Thanks, thanks.' 'But don't you think you ought to mention John Donne more often? Wasn't that your assignment?' 'Oh, Donne,' Bunny had said scoffingly. 'I don't want to drag him into this.' Henry refused to read it. 'I'm sure it's over my head, Bunny, really,' he said, glancing over the first page. 'Say, what's wrong with this type?' 'Triple-spaced it,' said Bunny proudly. 'These lines are about an inch apart.' 'Looks kind of like free verse, doesn't it?' Henry made a funny little snorting noise through his nose. 'Looks kind of like a menu,' he said. All I remember about the paper was that it ended with the sentence 'And as we leave Donne and Walton on the shores of Metahemeralism, we wave a fond farewell to those famous chums of yore.' We wondered if he would fail.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
The mixture of a solidly established Romance aristocracy with the Old English grassroots produced a new language, a “French of England,” which came to be known as Anglo-Norman. It was perfectly intelligible to the speakers of other langues d’oïl and also gave French its first anglicisms, words such as bateau (boat) and the four points of the compass, nord, sud, est and ouest. The most famous Romance chanson de geste, the Song of Roland, was written in Anglo-Norman. The first verse shows how “French” this language was: Carles li reis, nostre emperere magnes, set anz tuz pleins ad estéd en Espaigne, Tresqu’en la mer cunquist la tere altaigne… King Charles, our great emperor, stayed in Spain a full seven years: and he conquered the high lands up to the sea… Francophones are probably not aware of how much England contributed to the development of French. England’s court was an important production centre for Romance literature, and most of the early legends of King Arthur were written in Anglo-Norman. Robert Wace, who came from the Channel Island of Jersey, first evoked the mythical Round Table in his Roman de Brut, written in French in 1155. An Englishman, William Caxton, even produced the first “vocabulary” of French and English (a precursor of the dictionary) in 1480. But for four centuries after William seized the English crown, the exchange between Old English and Romance was pretty much the other way around—from Romance to English. Linguists dispute whether a quarter or a half of the basic English vocabulary comes from French. Part of the argument has to do with the fact that some borrowings are referred to as Latinates, a term that tends to obscure the fact that they actually come from French (as we explain later, the English worked hard to push away or hide the influence of French). Words such as charge, council, court, debt, judge, justice, merchant and parliament are straight borrowings from eleventh-century Romance, often with no modification in spelling. In her book Honni soit qui mal y pense, Henriette Walter points out that the historical developments of French and English are so closely related that anglophone students find it easier to read Old French than francophones do. The reason is simple: Words such as acointance, chalenge, plege, estriver, remaindre and esquier disappeared from the French vocabulary but remained in English as acquaintance, challenge, pledge, strive, remain and squire—with their original meanings. The word bacon, which francophones today decry as an English import, is an old Frankish term that took root in English. Words that people think are totally English, such as foreign, pedigree, budget, proud and view, are actually Romance terms pronounced with an English accent: forain, pied-de-grue (crane’s foot—a symbol used in genealogical trees to mark a line of succession), bougette (purse), prud (valiant) and vëue. Like all other Romance vernaculars, Anglo-Norman evolved quickly. English became the expression of a profound brand of nationalism long before French did. As early as the thirteenth century, the English were struggling to define their nation in opposition to the French, a phenomenon that is no doubt the root of the peculiar mixture of attraction and repulsion most anglophones feel towards the French today, whether they admit it or not. When Norman kings tried to add their French territory to England and unify their kingdom under the English Crown, the French of course resisted. The situation led to the first, lesser-known Hundred Years War (1159–1299). This long quarrel forced the Anglo-Norman aristocracy to take sides. Those who chose England got closer to the local grassroots, setting the Anglo-Norman aristocracy on the road to assimilation into English.
Jean-Benoît Nadeau (The Story of French)
CARTESIAN, adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, Cogito ergo sum—whereby he was pleased to suppose he demonstrated the reality of human existence. The dictum might be improved, however, thus: Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum— "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;" as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
MOUSE, n. An animal which strews its path with fainting women. As in Rome Christians were thrown to the lions, so centuries earlier in Otumwee, the most ancient and famous city of the world, female heretics were thrown to the mice.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
MALTHUSIAN, adj. Pertaining to Malthus and his doctrines. Malthus believed in artificially limiting population, but found that it could not be done by talking. One of the most practical exponents of the Malthusian idea was Herod of Judea, though all the famous soldiers have been of the same way of thinking.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
the queen a copy of Henry Watson Fowler’s famous 1926 guide to the English language, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage.
Erik Larson (The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz)
Metahemeralism. Tell me about it. Everything you know. I gotta know something about metahemeralism." "I'm sorry. I don't know what that is." "I don't either," Bunny would say brokenly. "Got to do with art or pastoralism or something. That's how I gotta tie together John Donne and Izaak Walton, see." He would resume pacing. "Donne. Walton. Metahemeralism. That's the problem as I see it." "Bunny, I don't think "metahemeralism" is even a word." "Sure it is. Comes from the Latin. Has to do with irony and the pastoral. Yeah. That's it. Painting or sculpture or something, maybe." "Is it in the dictionary?" "Dunno. Don't know how to spell it. I mean" — he made a picture frame with his hands — "the poet and the fisherman. Parfait. Boon companions. Out in the open spaces. Living the good life. Metahemeralism's gotta be the glue here, see?" And so it would go on, for sometimes half an hour or more, with Bunny raving about fishing, and sonnets, and heaven knew what, until in the middle of his monologue he would be struck by a brilliant thought and bluster off as suddenly as he had descended. He finished the paper four days before the deadline and ran around showing it to everyone before he turned it in. "This is a nice paper, Bun — ," Charles said cautiously. "Thanks, thanks." "But don't you think you ought to mention John Donne more often? Wasn't that your assignment?" "Oh, Donne," Bunny had said scoffingly. "I don't want to drag him into this." Henry had refused to read it. "I'm sure it's over my head, Bunny, really," he said, glancing over the first page. "Say, what's wrong with this type?" "Tripled spaced it," said Bunny proudly. "These lines are about an inch apart." "Looks kind of like free verse, doesn't it?" Henry made a funny little snorting noise through his nose. "Looks kind of like a menu," he said. All I remember about the paper was that it ended with the sentence "And as we leave Donne and Walton on the shores of Metahemeralism, we wave a fond farewell to those famous chums of yore.
Anonymous
Metahemeralism. Tell me about it. Everything you know. I gotta know something about metahemeralism." "I'm sorry. I don't know what that is." "I don't either," Bunny would say brokenly. "Got to do with art or pastoralism or something. That's how I gotta tie together John Donne and Izaak Walton, see." He would resume pacing. "Donne. Walton. Metahemeralism. That's the problem as I see it." "Bunny, I don't think "metahemeralism" is even a word." "Sure it is. Comes from the Latin. Has to do with irony and the pastoral. Yeah. That's it. Painting or sculpture or something, maybe." "Is it in the dictionary?" "Dunno. Don't know how to spell it. I mean" — he made a picture frame with his hands — "the poet and the fisherman. Parfait. Boon companions. Out in the open spaces. Living the good life. Metahemeralism's gotta be the glue here, see?" And so it would go on, for sometimes half an hour or more, with Bunny raving about fishing, and sonnets, and heaven knew what, until in the middle of his monologue he would be struck by a brilliant thought and bluster off as suddenly as he had descended. He finished the paper four days before the deadline and ran around showing it to everyone before he turned it in. "This is a nice paper, Bun — ," Charles said cautiously. "Thanks, thanks." "But don't you think you ought to mention John Donne more often? Wasn't that your assignment?" "Oh, Donne," Bunny had said scoffingly. "I don't want to drag him into this." Henry had refused to read it. "I'm sure it's over my head, Bunny, really," he said, glancing over the first page. "Say, what's wrong with this type?" "Tripled spaced it," said Bunny proudly. "These lines are about an inch apart." "Looks kind of like free verse, doesn't it?" Henry made a funny little snorting noise through his nose. "Looks kind of like a menu," he said. All I remember about the paper was that it ended with the sentence "And as we leave Donne and Walton on the shores of Metahemeralism, we wave a fond farewell to those famous chums of yore.
Anonymous
I take another bite, savoring how moist the cake is. I moan. “This is so moist.” “Beyond moist. The most moist in all the land,” he says with a smile. “If there was a picture in the dictionary for moist, this cake would be famous for setting the standards of moistness.” “If this cake hosted a party, they would call it the hostess with the moistest.” I snort so hard that I swear cake almost flies through my nose. I swallow quickly and catch a breath, but I can’t contain my laughter. My hand falls to my chest. I try to gather myself, but it’s impossible. Tears stream down my face. “Hashtag . . . Hostess . . . with the Moistest,” I choke out between fits of giggles.
Meghan Quinn (The Wedding Game)
allegorical interpretation. This was one of the most influential approaches to biblical interpretation until the Reformation of the sixteenth century. The roots of allegorical interpretation reach back to the Golden Age of Greece and, in early Jewish hermeneutics, to Philo Judeas. In the beginning centuries of the Christian church, allegorical interpretation was identified with the Alexandrian school and especially with its most famous scholar, *Origen. The key assumption in this hermeneutical approach is that the scriptural text contains several senses. The interpreter seeks to discover levels of meaning that lie beneath the literal sense of a text. The figure of Moses in the Exodus narrative, for example, can be interpreted allegorically as Jesus Christ, who comes to those enslaved in sin and leads them to salvation. Origen identified three primary senses: the literal, the moral and the spiritual. Later Latin fathers expanded the senses into four: the literal, the allegorical, the tropological (moral) and the anagogic (focusing on the end or the goal of the Christian life).
Nathan P. Feldmeth (Pocket Dictionary of Church History)
He, who writes an Encomium Neronis, if he does it heartily, is himself but a transcript of Nero in his mind, and would, no doubt, gladly enough see such pranks, as he was famous for, acted again, though he dares not be the actor of them himself.South’sSermons.2. He
Samuel Johnson (A Dictionary of the English Language (Complete and Unabridged in Two Volumes), Volume One)
ALLEGER  (ALLE'GER)   n.s.[from allege.]He that alleges. Which narrative, if we may believe it as confidently as the famous alleger of it, Pamphilio, appears to do, would seem to argue, that there is, sometimes, no other principle requisite, than what may result from the lucky mixture of the parts of several bodies.Boyle.
Samuel Johnson (A Dictionary of the English Language (Complete and Unabridged in Two Volumes), Volume One)
Johnson was not impressed. He conceded that the letters might have made a ‘very pretty’ book (the faintest of faint praise), then commented, stingingly, that they ‘teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master’. 8 Here, as in the famous letter and the Dictionary’s entry under ‘patron’, Chesterfield’s errors are more lastingly preserved than any of his achievements. There
Henry Hitchings (Defining the World: The Extraordinary Story of Dr Johnson's Dictionary)
Fran had from an unsuitably early age been attracted by the heroic death, the famous last words, the tragic farewell. Her parents had on their shelves a copy of Brewer's 'Dictionary of Phase and fable', a book which, as a teenager, she would morbidly browse for hours. One of her favourite sections was 'Dying Sayings', with its fine mix of the pious, the complacent, the apocryphal, the bathetic and the defiant. Artists had fared well: Beethoven was alleged to have said 'I shall hear in heaven'; the erotic painter Etty had declared 'Wonderful! Wonderful this death!'; and Keats had died bravely, generously comforting his poor friend Severn. Those about to be executed had clearly had time to prepare a fine last thought, and of these she favoured the romantic Walter Raleigh's, 'It matters little how the head lies, so the heart be right'. Harriet Martineau, who had suffered so much as a child from religion, as Fran had later discovered, had stoically remarked, 'I see no reason why the existence of Harriet Martineau should be perpetuated', an admirably composed sentiment which had caught the child Fran's attention long before she knew who Harriet Martineau was. But most of all she had liked the parting of Siward the Dane who had commended his men: 'Lift me up that I may die standing, not lying down like a cow'.
Margaret Drabble (The Dark Flood Rises)
For ‘philosophical’ we can read ‘scientific’; and when he adds, ‘The philosophers are now endeavouring to intercept the strokes of lightning’, he is referring to the recent work of Benjamin Franklin, who famously flew his kite under a thundercloud to prove that lightning was a form of electricity. Johnson later encountered Franklin at a meeting of a charity called the Associates for Founding Clerical Libraries and Supporting Negro Schools. What passed between them we sadly do not know,
Henry Hitchings (Defining the World: The Extraordinary Story of Dr Johnson's Dictionary)
Perhaps the most famous and dramatic example of intellectual development in prison is that of Malcolm X.21 Malcolm Little (as he was born) entered prison immersed in drugs, sex, and petty crime. In prison he met a polymath named John Elton Bembry who was steeped in culture and history, able to hold forth on a wide variety of fascinating topics. On his advice Malcolm began to read—first the dictionary, then books on etymology and linguistics. He studied elementary Latin and German. He converted to Islam, a faith introduced to him by his brothers. In the following years he read the Bible and the Qur’an, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Spinoza, and Kant, as well as works of Asian philosophy. He pored over an especially loved book of the archaeological wonders of the East and the West. He learned the history of colonialism, of slavery, and of African peoples. He felt his old ways of thinking disappear “like snow off of a roof.”22 He filled his letters with verse, writing to his brother: “I’m a real bug for poetry. When you think back over all of our past lives, only poetry could best fit into the vast emptiness created by men.
Zena Hitz (Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life)