HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

December 8, 2008
From Sanitas

A Lexicon for the 21st Century

John Turner


Lawnmower: A small internal combustion machine attached to an airplane propeller which has the unerring ability to find every rock in your yard.

Learning Disability: Popular synonym for stupidity.

Leda: A young wife who didn’t watch out as carefully for the swan as she should have--or did she?

Le Fast Thinker: Label created by Pierre Bourdieu for a celebrity who can quickly make up facts on television.

Legalism: A preference for following rules over making personal decisions, an easy way to omit everything that is not required, or the doctrine that dead people have every right to tell live people how to live.

Legality: Quality not to be distinguished from its opposite by reason, morality, or sanity; it’s origin appears bathed in mystery till we remember the precept: “Follow the money.”

Legislation: That thing, above all others, which is ordinarily and grossly faulty.

Legitimacy: Residue descending from the possession of the greatest fire power.

Leisure: A possession far more widespread in the Stone Age than it is now.

Leopard: Medium-sized cat stroked by motion picture actresses to express predatory sexuality.

Levirate: A custom which upset the Victorians to an absurd degree.

Lewdness: A dreary marriage of the senses and bad taste.


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