HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

October 1, 2007
From Sanitas

A Lexicon for the 21st Century

John Turner


City: A place smelling of vice in stuffy rooms.

Civet: A variety of cat which exists mainly to be compared to the sort of woman whose odor fills a drawing room.

Civil: A word which in use generally means the opposite of its definition.

Civility: A sacrifice fewer and fewer of us are willing to make.

Civilization: That which interests people only when it is believed to be crumbling.

Clan: A family group formed, mainly, for killing other family groups.

Class: A noun difficult of definition which, when transformed to an adjective, becomes the epitome of vulgarity--even though the people who use it in the latter form are often good-natured.

Class War: Term of opprobrium used by fat cats to denounce the arguments of anyone who doesn't make at least $500,000 a year.

Clean: Free from stuff that's not needed.

Clearance: The decision by a merchant to unload goods he has been trying for months to sell at outrageous prices and is now forced to accept a reasonable profit for.

Clergyman: Male member of the clergy, a group thought to have an odd relationship with God.

Cliché: A mode of talk that you must resort to frequently if you don't want people to think you're an arrogant elitist.


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