Whence do Stockholm Syndrome and Broken Window Theory derive their names? What is the common root of aristocracy and democracy? Who gets diagnosed with Anarchia and Drapetomania? How did voting kill Edgar Allen Poe, and why is a crater on the dark side of the moon named for the man who blew up the Tsar? Alternately scathing and sublime, Contradictionary pulls back the curtain from the war within every word, revealing the conflict behind the façade of the commonplace. In the tradition of The Devil's Dictionary, Contradictionary assembles a wide range of wit and whimsy. This is no mere miscellany, but a lighthearted work of serious literature, concentrating a wealth of ideas and history into aphorisms and anecdotes.