HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

January 19, 2009
From Sanitas

A Lexicon for the 21st Century

John Turner


Mandate: Governmental oppression imposed on people as their own deepest desire.

Mankind: The mansion God has built for his own habitation, says George Herbert--reflects a curious taste in real estate.

Manliness: Desire never to think about anything not thought about by age thirteen.

Mansion: A house constructed with no financial restraint, and, in California, with no taste.

Manslaughter: Crime to which one admits only after he has been threatened by a prosecutor with a murder charge, and, possibly, a death sentence.

Mantra: Something a person says over and over again because he can’t think of anything else to say.

Manual: A small cryptic book purporting to tell you how to do something, which, usually, you shouldn’t be doing.

Map: A drawing which purports to tell you how to get somewhere but offers little help about what you will have to pass through to make it.

Marmoreal: White and hard, mostly as applied to things that aren’t hard but can appear so to the imagination, as Stieglitz’s clouds or Madonna’s breasts.

Marmoset: A small and somewhat ill-natured monkey which, if you keep as a pet, will defecate repeatedly on your arm.

Marquis: A person skilled in the use of swords, of all sorts.

Marriage: An arrangement much commented upon as to its felicity which is no happier or unhappier than life itself.


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