Absurdism: the teleological suspension of the rational.
Adolescence: variant spelling of "addle essence".
Adult: variant spelling of "a dolt".
Alone: with no good excuse for dishonesty.
Art: any product of human imagination to which interpretation adheres.
Assertion: the indispensable preface to all that is subsequently deemed “true”.
Atheism: not godlessness, but the worship of a smaller local deity.
Automobile: a four-wheeled telephone booth; connected to his wireless telephone, the vehicle occupant is seated in the perfect machine for getting him absolutely elsewhere.
Ballot: a Möbius strip used in popular democracies for the purpose of voting.
Beach: a seaside ashtray that doubles as a broiling rack for dainty tourist flesh; along shorelines famed for overdevelopment, the ribbon of imported sand separating a polluted surf populated with underfed sharks from gaudy streets overrun with overfed sharks.
Beggar: an invisible man with a visible cup.
Body: your only friend; your worst enemy.
Boredom: variant spelling of “bedroom”.
Brain: the large piece of wax between the ears.
Can: the categorical imperative of our sciences and applied technologies.
Cannibal: one who dines on human flesh. A sarcophagus is a cannibal.
Cannibalism: life, by another name.
Cat: a member of a family of furry mammals clearly from some other planet. The technological prowess that cats demonstrated in navigating to this planet regrettably has never extended to feline dexterity with the can opener, but this specific lack of dexterity amply testifies to feline cunning and intelligence.
Cell phone: an electronic communications appliance with which to demonstrate the inability to drive.
Cerebral: of or having to do with cranial cellulite.
Certainty: the sure epistemic means for attaining approximate, partial, or tentative epistemic ends.
Civilization: a vehicle without brakes whose system of propulsion is sheer momentum—its velocity is apparent only as it runs downhill.
Coffin: a piece of furniture that rearranges the customary relationship we enjoy with dust.
Congress: a bicameral legislature conveniently divided into two factions whose members represent voters with bifurcated minds and bivalent souls.
Death: quantum oscillation stabilization effected by gravity; the place where the weather is all shifting patterns of dust and dirt.
De-extinction: the brief stage intermediate to extinction and re-extinction.
Diplomat: a trusted academic, bureaucrat or celebrity whose job it is to antagonize and provoke her nation's allies, when not otherwise appeasing her nation's enemies or misrepresenting her country's interests abroad; one adept at vitiating her own credibility.
Dog: a quadruped mammal whose generally affable and obedient demeanor entitles him to be treated like a human being (cf. Human being: a biped mammal whose generally sullen and self-willed behavior requires his being treated like a cur.)
Earth: a planetary nursery for infants and gods; the locality where seven billion planets and universes collide daily.
Education: the preferred instrument for banishing literacy and numeracy from a society or generation.
Empowerment: dependence on philanthropy, addiction to therapeutics, or reliance upon assistance.
Enviromaniac: one incapable of seeing both forests and trees simultaneously.
Ethics: window-dresser at the Ego & Expediency Emporium.
Evolution: the theory of biological extinction proposed by the very species immune to extinction.
Exercise: the bodily exertions of those who do not perform manual labor for a living.
Fame: immortality, in the present tense.
Flatter: to remind a patron of the obvious.
Floor: a bookshelf of last resort.
Gossip: in your presence, what that fellow over there did this past weekend; in your absence, what you did this past weekend.
Have: to ignore.
Hollywood: purveyor of stale bread and somniferous circuses, the former served with rancid clamor or saccharine sentiment, the latter presented in ghastly dreamlessness with glib sermonizing.
Holy: an adjective without comparative and superlative forms.
Human being: a fruit or vegetable with animal aspirations and a mineral destiny.
Idealism: the cheery midwife officiating at the births of Pessimism, Cynicism, and Nihilism.
Intellectual: one who deems hypertrophy of the mind just compensation for constipation of the soul.
Interdisciplinary: highly fuzzy, or aptly approximate, with or without requisite specificity.
Internet: the leading stage for anonymous exhibitionism.
Invalid: a desperately sick person kept alive to prolong the existence of his doctors.
Irony: the other universal solvent.
Jealousy: tenacity of desire that intensifies as soon as the object of desire sheds its original appeal.
Journalism: the practice of corrupting language to engender slovenly thought about contemporary circumstance; without doubt, the very lowest form of entertainment, though always in competition with formal education.
Knowledge: the incontrovertible residue of someone else's experience. Reliance on secondary and tertiary removes of experience is called “education”.
Laughter: a laxative therapy of risibility for anyone suffering from constipation of the soul. Its efficacy is determined when the sufferer looks into a mirror.
Law: the rules governing how human life feeds on itself.
Learning: the cognitive or intellectual function that thwarts the best intentions of the professional educator.
Life: cannibalism, by another name.
Litter: an outward sign of inward trash.
Maturity: the ruse by which the infantile, the puerile, and the juvenile extend their terms in office.
Media: the mouths of tacit narrative assumptions and implicit editorial biases, promulgated for their value in promoting uncritical acceptance of asserted "truth" and passive popular compliance as "civic engagement".
Medicine: the habilitation of hypochondria; a concoction or procedure of human ingenuity designed to keep nature from its course: nature, inexorable and irascible as ever, is mildly amused and only briefly deterred.
Memory: the firm or feeble grip the dead have upon the living.
Mirror: the cellphone's chief competitor.
Misogyny: one possible outcome of a naïve idolatry.
Moderation: Internet-speak for "censorship".
Money: in worlds of two dimensions, the cure for every ill and the solution to every problem. The efficacy of money in curing ills and solving problems in two-dimensional circumstances owes to the perfectly realized forms of currency and coin in obverse and reverse.
Mortality: four syllables ending in “death”.
Multi-tasking: the ability to do several things poorly at one time while diminishing the ability to do a single thing well.
News: the first draft of myth.
Nostalgia: the talent for misremembering the prevailing meteorological conditions of one's youth.
Objectivity: the intellectual virtue of standing aside from one's immediate experience; a stepladder for the attainment of abstraction.
Opera: a musical theatrical production that illustrates the hazards and mayhem commonly attending the emphatic singing of vowels.
Opinion poll: the modern successor to the medieval Tarot deck in its purport to accurately predict the present.
Ought: the apotheosis of preferred outcomes.
Parenting: the begetting of children so that they may be raised by someone else.
Permanent: subject to termination, obliteration, or eradication at some later date: commonly said of buildings, cities, and civilizations.
Peroxide: a neuron-synapse astringent applied to the hair.
Petty: being or becoming smaller than one already is.
Philanthropist: a misanthrope with disposable wealth or discretionary income.
Philosophy: a muscular exercise of throat, jaw, tongue, and brain.
Political Correctness: the monocultural promotion of diversity, inclusion, and tolerance that displaces existing practices and policies while yielding fresh expectations of uniformity, exclusion, and intolerance.
Politics: the popular mechanism for conveying problems away from their solution.
Popular: a word coming from Latin which means “of the people”; the equivalent of the word “vulgar”, which also comes from Latin and means the same thing.
Posthumous: variant spelling of "post-humus".
Postmodernism: the cockroach of modernism, on its back.
Poverty: ability to do without; inability to do without; inability to do with.
Precision: refined or over-refined approximation.
Procrastination: poorly understood, gravely unappreciated, or unjustly maligned conservation of effort.
Progress: the apotheosis of linear chronometry, irrespective of anachronism and atavism, recurrence and reversion; the temporal myth sponsored by modernity that we live already, and incontestably so, in an irreversible future.
Protestant: a self-shepherding sheep, susceptible to lycanthropy.
Quorum: the minimum number of office-holders required for carrying out the dictates of cronyism, nepotism, malfeasance, misfeasance, and ineptitude, in the true spirit of greed and poor-mouthing.
Rationalism: a domesticated carnivore with sharp gums; the apotheosis of a rare or intermittent mental quirk.
Readiness: the volitional state immediately subsequent to procrastination.
Reason: the mental faculty that placates our separate volitions in order to confirm us in our common prejudices.
Recognition: the habituation of mistaken identity.
Rhythm: the memory of conception.
Rock 'n' roll: amplified hyperbole or cliché of geriatric vintage in praise of adolescent frivolity and excess.
Salary: the income with which to maintain one's debts.
Satirist: a tragedian with a sense of humor.
Self-evident: the status of a thing whose meaning or worth is unknown.
Senses: the faculties of seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, and hearing that enable us to perceive the world without and equip us to hallucinate the world within.
Should: the motive for those brands of evil not inspired by Can.
Silence: a memory forgotten.
Social network: any internet platform that promotes rancor, extends the chronological range of immaturity, or invites subscriber solipsists and narcissists to maintain steady focus.
Sociopathy: variant spelling of "sociology".
Solitude: the virtue of restricting one's carelessnesses to oneself.
Spontaneity: flexibility of response, subject to consultation with one's clock, calendar, or appointment schedule.
Suicide: one who succumbs to terminal impatience; one who dies before and after dying.
Sycophant: the Greek word for "toad".
Talk: the movement of tongue and jaw that precedes inaction.
Technique: in science and art, the virtue of repetition.
Thought: the bridling of meaning for the domestication of experience; the chief impediment to speech.
Toilet: the locale of a man's intimate daily encounter with the metaphysical.
Tombstone: an engraved mineral marker (chiefly granite) designating a local mineral deposit (chiefly calcium).
Tomorrow: the most common assumption.
Trash can: a garbage receptacle around which litter and refuse are placed.
Understand: to consign to the realm of the self-evident.
Vanity: an image whose perfect charm is perfected before a mirror just prior to its public display and its eternal disappearance.
War: our species' murderous solution for resolving grazing, watering, and mineral rights disputes among our herds.
Writer: a librarian seeking employment as a translator.
Xenophobia: tentative regard for distant relatives, sometimes as cogent as tentative regard for immediate relatives.
Yellow: the reigning pigment in canaries and cowards.
Zebra: an undomesticated equine mammal native to sub-Saharan Africa; its distinctive spotted markings have been shown to induce a high degree of astigmatism in most observers.
All rights reserved.
Ovbiously indebted to Cousin Ambrose. Some items were published long ago in the Chicago humor quarterly LIGHT, others appeared more recently at Delicious Demon. The whole glossary has never been published, but then, the entire glossary has not been composed.
Abundant apologies for formatting errors.