Monday, June 06, 2005

Railroad

Railroad, n. The chief of many mechanical devices enabling us to get away from where we are to where we are no better off. For this purpose the railroad is held in highest favor by the optimist, for it permits him to make the transit with great expedition.

2005 Update: v.t. To deliver for justice someone guilty of original sin.
n. A means for escaping from or visiting by one's past.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not sure I get that one.

Doug said...

They may not use the expression in your country, or maybe I'd better rewrite.

Kate said...

Some San Franciscans, I hear, consider themseves descendants of Atlantis. :)

Indeterminacy said...

"Original sin" is a good idiom for non-native speakers to learn. I'd leave it. (Tom Lehrer used the expression in "Vatican Rag" as well).

karma said...

I'll take the A train

Indeterminacy said...

The more I think about it, this new definition is better than the original, and was just as valid then as now.

GABRIEL C. ZOLMAN said...

Railroad, n. A long, frequently winding sectioned vehicle path utilized by mustachioed villians as a dumping ground for unwanted damsels.

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Doug said...

Kate, I'm sure Bierce himself was.

Indie, that's funny I was thinking about railroad as a verb (similar metaphor as frame.) Could be U.S. usage. In deference to you, I'll leave it although I also thought of "a means for escaping those who will use the same means to come visit."

Karma, then I'll meet you in Sugar Hill.

Gabe: A perfect definition. I've been in an oaty place myself lately as you will see tomorrow.

Minka said...

Wow. Stumbled here through blog explosion. Laughed a lot. Thank you!

Sreekesh Menon said...

An useful negotiation tactic !

Doug said...

Monika, I'm delighted you were by and thank you for the nice words. Your own blog is terrific.

Sreekesh, on board or on the tracks?

Sar said...

A railroad is like a lie--you have to keep building to it to make it stand. - Mark Twain

The wisdom of this man is just as prudent today.

Skarr said...

There is no such thing as 'original sin'. Sin is a word invented to torment others and use it as a means to condemn or rebuke or chastise etc. etc....

As long as you act according to your beliefs, value and respect others, love your family and friends above yourself and put yourself last when it comes to escaping any situation, you have enough to lead a wonderful life !

Doug said...

Sar, plus if you can't keep it straight someone ends up in the ditch.

Skarr, thanks for the clarification.

Comfort Addict said...

The conveyance of choice for those with a one-track mind.

Doug said...

Comfort addict, I thought you'd be Star or Lars. Really funny definition.