E is for ennui

Feeling cynical? Members of Salon's community, Table Talk, redefine the word this week.

Topics:

Imagination

The Cynic’s Dictionary

Jared2 – 07:46 am Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008

Starting with A, choose a word beginning with that letter and provide a cynical definition of the word. The next poster chooses the next letter in the alphabet. At Z, go back to A and repeat, like Sisyphus.

A is for Angst. A word to describe pain, fear and suffering that is reserved for intellectuals.

RSA – 07:21 am Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #30 of 236

A is for Abstinence Programs, an effort to prevent pregnancy among teenagers by appealing to their good judgment, their careful consideration of the future, and their ability to control their sex drives.

Esme – 07:58 am Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #2 of 236

B is for Bierce, as in Ambrose, who would approve of this thread.

T. Lewis - 08:36 am Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #32 of 236

C is for Criminy. You kids get off my lawn!

Jared2 – 07:19 am Pacific Time – Jun 18, 2008 – #59 of 236

C is for concupiscence, which is like horniness, only much classier.

D is for delusional. The way everyone else sees the world.

D is for Dollar, which used to be considered real money by the rest of the world.

RSA – 08:51 am Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #33 of 236

D is for Death, the inevitable end of all things: flowers and trees; aardvarks and zebras and human beings; the oceans and the land; the Earth; the Solar system; and the universe … and believing otherwise doesn’t change a thing.

longtime – 08:32 am Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #5 of 236

E is for Empty, like the heads of all those other folks.

Nondescripta – 04:06 am Pacific Time – Jun 20, 2008 – #89 of 236

E is for Empathy, a trait eliminated in MBA programs.

Jared2 – 08:39 am Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #6 of 236

F is for Fatherless Day, formerly known as Father’s Day.

RSA – 09:42 am Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #7 of 236

G is for God, a nothing that serves just as well as a something about which nothing can be said (with apologies to Wittgenstein).

H is for Half, a description your older sibling uses for your tiny portion of the treat you have agreed to split evenly.



T. Lewis – 09:17 am Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #37 of 236

H is for Happiness. Ha ha.

Jared2 - 10:06 am Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #10 of 236

I is for your child’s Intelligence, which your wife assures you comes from her.

RSA – 11:43 am Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #11 of 236

J is for Junk, the main reason for the existence of drawers, closets, spare bedrooms, and garages.

Jared2 - 12:51 pm Pacific Time – Jun 18, 2008 – #66 of 236

J is for job, which you have to get unless the Supreme Court appoints you to the Presidency.

Nondescripta – 07:20 am Pacific Time – Jun 20, 2008 – #94 of 236

J is for Jury, a group your lawyer needs to impress or you’ll be in Jail for several more years.

Jared2 – 11:53 am Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #12 of 236

K is for Kitchen, millions of which have been renovated at great expense, fitted with granite counters, sub-zero fridges, and high hat lighting for people who never learned to cook, and whose idea of fine dining is going out to the “Asian fusion” buffet.

L is for Limerick, an odious kind of doggerel which need not rhyme as long as it is salacious enough.

RSA – 10:23 am Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #41 of 236

L is for Lemonade, which optimists tell you to make out of the lemons life has given you, but life didn’t give you cold water, sugar, or a pitcher — just lemons, a whole lot of lemons.

M is for Mom, without whom you’d never have that tiny feeling of insecurity when you go out dressed like that?

Tess – 05:24 pm Pacific Time – Jun 18, 2008 – #69 of 236

M is for The Man, who will stick it you in the end, and The Machine, to which we welcome you.

Jared2 – 12:47 pm Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #15 of 236

N is for nunchucks, the deadliest weapon in martial arts, guaranteed to make your opponent collapse on the floor in laughter.

RSA – 10:41 am Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #43 of 236

N is for Negligence, the definition of which I can’t be bothered to include in this dictionary.

Jared2 – 01:14 pm Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #16 of 236

O is for Operation Iraqi Liberation, or OIL.

P is for Pregnant, which Catholic priests will never be.

RSA – 02:09 pm Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #18 of 236

Q is for Quibble, a petty objection against one’s arguments; see also refutation, a petty objection one raises against the arguments of others.

Jared2 - 11:16 am Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #48 of 236

R is for Relatives, who confirm that man only recently evolved from apes.

R is for “made Redundant,” not to be confused with being canned, fired, terminated, discharged, let go, dehired, given a pink slip, constructively dismissed, experiencing very early retirement or being given the opportunity to investigate other employment options.

longtime - 09:14 pm Pacific Time – Jun 16, 2008 – #20 of 236

S is for Sodium Bicarbonate (a.k.a. baking soda), the only remaining kitchen ingredient without foodie pretensions.

TartifletteDeux - 04:21 am Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #21 of 236

T is for time, the panacea that heals all wounds, but which eventually will kill us all.

T. Lewis - 06:44 am Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #23 of 236

U is for Universal Healthcare. Yeah, whatever.

RSA - 12:51 pm Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #52 of 236

V is for Vampire, a seductive, romantic, misunderstood creature who will rip your throat out with his teeth when you fall asleep.

W is for Weltanschauung, a German term sometimes used by English-speaking philosophers dissatisfied with the boringness of its literal translation, “worldview.”

T. Lewis - 09:42 am Pacific Time – Jun 20, 2008 – #109 of 236

X is for those X-rays that simply can’t be touched up.

RSA - 02:23 pm Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #55 of 236

Y is for Youtube, an internet video service illustrating the evolution of “a vast wasteland” [see television] to “a vast cyber-wasteland.”

Jared2 – 09:22 am Pacific Time – Jun 19, 2008 – #83 of 236

Y is for Yanomamö, a tribe of noble savages living in South America in perfect harmony with nature and with their neighbors aside from an unfortunate tendency toward cannibalism.

T. Lewis - 03:11 pm Pacific Time – Jun 17, 2008 – #56 of 236

Z is for The Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Who Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too, which pretty much sums up our culture’s fluff attitude about most everything.

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