(1299 quotes found)
“SYMBOL, n. Something that is supposed to typify or stand for something else. Many symbols are mere "survivals" --things which having no longer any utility continue to exist because we have inherited the tendency to make them; as funereal urns carved on memorial monuments. They were once real urns holding the ashes of the dead. We cannot stop making them, but we can give them a name that conceals our helplessness.”
“SYMBOLIC, adj. Pertaining to symbols and the use and interpretation of symbols.
They say 'tis conscience feels compunction; I hold that that's the stomach's function, For of the sinner I have noted That when he's sinned he's somewhat bloated, Or ill some other ghastly fashion Within that bowel of compassion. True, I believe the only sinner Is he that eats a shabby dinner. You know how Adam with good reason, For eating apples out of season, Was "cursed." But that is all symbolic: The truth is, Adam had the colic.”
“TELESCOPE, n. A device having a relation to the eye similar to that of the telephone to the ear, enabling distant objects to plague us with a multitude of needless details. Luckily it is unprovided with a bell summoning us to the sacrifice.”
“TRUTH, n. An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance. Discovery of truth is the sole purpose of philosophy, which is the most ancient occupation of the human mind and has a fair prospect of existing with increasing activity to the end of time.”
“SHERIFF, n. In America the chief executive office of a country, whose most characteristic duties, in some of the Western and Southern States, are the catching and hanging of rogues.
John Elmer Pettibone Cajee
(I write of him with little glee) Was just as bad as he could be.
'Twas frequently remarked: "I swon! The sun has never looked upon So bad a man as Neighbor John."
A sinner through and through, he had This added fault: it made him mad To know another man was bad.
In such a case he thought it right To rise at any hour of night And quench that wicked person's light.
Despite the town's entreaties, he Would hale him to the nearest tree And leave him swinging wide and free.
Or sometimes, if the humor came, A luckless wight's reluctant frame Was given to the cheerful flame.
While it was turning nice and brown, All unconcerned John met the frown Of that austere and righteous town.
"How sad," his neighbors said, "that he So scornful of the law should be -- An anar c, h, i, s, t."
(That is the way that they preferred To utter the abhorrent word, So strong the aversion that it stirred.)
"Resolved," they said, continuing,
"That Badman John must cease this thing Of having his unlawful fling.
"Now, by these sacred relics" --here Each man had out a souvenir Got at a lynching yesteryear --
"By these we swear he shall forsake His ways, nor cause our hearts to ache By sins of rope and torch and stake.
"We'll tie his red right hand until He'll have small freedom to fulfil The mandates of his lawless will."
So, in convention then and there, They named him Sheriff. The affair Was opened, it is said, with prayer. --J. Milton Sloluck”
“SOPHISTRY, n. The controversial method of an opponent, distinguished from one's own by superior insincerity and fooling. This method is that of the later Sophists, a Grecian sect of philosophers who began by teaching wisdom, prudence, science, art and, in brief, whatever men ought to know, but lost themselves in a maze of quibbles and a fog of words.
His bad opponent's "facts" he sweeps away, And drags his sophistry to light of day; Then swears they're pushed to madness who resort To falsehood of so desperate a sort. Not so; like sods upon a dead man's breast, He lies most lightly who the least is pressed. --Polydore Smith”