(a.k.a The Devil's Dictionary, New Millennia Edition)

 
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cynic

Cynical Definitions

n. A disappointed optimist.

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n. A man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

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n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be (hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eye to improve his vision).

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n. A well informed optimist.

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n. A person who is prematurely disappointed in the future.

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n. And evangelist in the Church of Reality.

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n. A pessimistically practical individual, one who believes that the glass is half-empty, and no one is likely to fill it up any time soon.

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Cynical Quotations

A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past; he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.

— Sidney J. Harris

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Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt. Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves.

— Robert Anton Wilson

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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.

— Lily Tomlin

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The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

— George Bernard Shaw

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Cynicism is a virtue, especially for engineers.

— David Weinberger

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