October 12, 2004

Comments and such of that darn Devil's Dictionary

First, I would just like to say that yes, I was one of those students who gawked at the thought of reading, let alone printing about 150 pages of text. However, after the fact, I thought, "You know, throw this shreaded log into a binder, and wala! When company arrives, you have a coffee table book for serious or casual discussion". Get some creative juices flowing and fancy up a flashy and inviting cover for this binder and your set.

I really enjoyed The Devil's Dictionary by Bierce, and the discussion on Monday. Everyone had great input and thoughts. I personally agree, which seemed like most of the class, that Bierce wrote this for all different views, and personally how the reader interprets the meanings in his or her life. I usually take things to heart, and a handful of definitions I couldn't believe were stated. However, if a thought is kept contained, how are others going to relate to maybe similar thoughts. I feel Bierce threw out these meanings that could be either true or false to the reader. He may or may not have felt a particular way that was stated in the dictionary. Thus, the title, "Devil's Dictionary", which as the reader, whether you agree or not, the idea that the Devil conjured up this literature still remains in the back of our heads.

Another thing. We all understand that no one here on earth is perfect, and we all have lessons to learn. We also battle with the fact that we all have somewhat of a conscience. We deal with the fact that there is wrong and right. Is it right that when we are alone, we are in bad company, and is it wrong that a coward thinks with his legs? Think about it, we are reading this material in the year of 2004-2005, how many years ago, and the Devil's Dictionary still in todays readers stirs emotions that still encourage thought about our living today.

Please give me some feedback. I am going strong here. = )

Posted by ShannaDeFrances at October 12, 2004 12:00 PM

I too was daunted and irritated by the hugeness of the thing but did enjoy reading parts of it. I think the main thing with Bierce is to lighten up and enjoy the sarcasm. He is spot on much of the time and pokes fun equally.

Posted by: LInda Fondrk at October 12, 2004 12:36 PM


I think if Bierce wanted to make the dictionary more funny, then he should have selected some words to describe men, and not just the women. It would be only fair, and then we wouldn't have made it such a big debate.


Posted by: Nabila Uddin at October 12, 2004 12:46 PM

Just curious... how would you feel if I had asked you to buy an inexpensive copy of this book, rather than print out a free e-text? More or less enraged? ;)

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 12, 2004 12:52 PM

Dr. Jerz,

My feeling of enragement only lasted a fraction of a second. As I said, I didn't mind reading over the dictionary. I think that maybe an inexpensive copy might be nice for future students. I am happy to have experienced this literature.


Posted by: ShannaDeFrances at October 13, 2004 08:57 AM

OK, just wondering whether the pain of downloading and printing was worth the benefit of getting it for free.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 13, 2004 09:19 AM


I agree with you that when I first saw that the whole entire text was 150 pages that I also had to pick my jaw up off of the floor. After the initial shock, I too was able to enjoy some of the words but at the same time I believe that reading the whole think seemed to be somewhat irritating. I liked some of the entries and did get the idea of the whole dictionarty, but I thought that reading the whole entire thing was absolutely pointless. I believe that I would have better understanded it and comprehended more if I were only give a few sections to be accountable for. I feel that you had the same reaction!! Is that right? I did, however, find the presentations on the material intersting. I do also feel that several of these words and phrases are still true today in that we still have societal areas that may never be changed. I found your blog awesome and it essentially gave me a sense of relief that I was not the only individual feeling this particular way!! Keep up the good blog entries. I enjoy reading them.

Melissa Hagg

Posted by: Melissa Hagg at October 31, 2004 09:44 PM


I also had to pick my jaw up off the floor along with my eyes that bulged out of their sockets. I could not believe that we were being expected to read an entire dictionary in a weekend. As I told Katie on her blog I was only able to read until halfway through B before I was just too incredibly bored to continue. I also agree with Melissa. I would have probably gotten more out of the excercise if I was only responsible for a few of the sections instead of the whole thing. As far as your question is concerned, I absolutely agree with the fact that this is excellent for people today. I think it really shows that the greatest of works do stand out and over come the test of time. That is the most important thing in a writers life and most do not get to see their results. I just hope that wherever Bierce is that he see's that we still appriciate everything that he wrote.


PS: stop by my blog and let me know what your favorite

Posted by: Tiffany at November 29, 2004 06:05 PM

I got cut off before I finished....what i wanted to say was....

Stop by my blog and let me know what some of your favorite words word and why. I'm curious as to what everyone thinks.


Posted by: Tiffany at November 29, 2004 06:06 PM
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