Ambrose Bierce 1842 – 1914 (ish)

Bierce’s wonderful Devil’s Dictionary was first published in 1906 under the title The Cynic’s Word Book. It remains a rich source of quote, speech and presentation material to this day. It has been postulated that his ability to cut through political and media doublespeak was fomented by his experiences in the Civil War. Whatever the reason for his clearsightedness, his work resonates as much as ever today, perhaps more so.

“A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.

“Telephone. Noun: An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.”

“Litigation: Noun: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.

“Cynic. Noun: A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.”