This is the man who invented the ‘English Dictionary’

Samuel: From

Samuel Johnson,
the famous man behind the English Language
first definitive dictionary, composed dictionary for the growing English
speaking literary world in the 18th Century. The Dictionary
called Johnson’s Dictionary,
and was first published in 1775.
understand Johnson’s undertaking, it’s important to understand the state of
English lexicography in the middle of the 18th century. There were a handful of
glossaries of difficult words, but overall, there was no reference for the
English reader to consult words one might encounter on a day-to-day basis. In
addition, books were becoming widely available and literacy in England was
growing. Several book publishers got together and commissioned Johnson to
compile a dictionary similar to the one created by the French Academy. In
France, that effort took 40 scholars 40 years to complete. Johnson, in a barb
aimed at the supposed inferiority of the French, said he could do it in three:
“This is the proportion. Let me see; forty times forty is sixteen hundred. As
three to sixteen hundred, so is the proportion of an Englishman to a
Frenchman.” It took Johnson 9 years to complete.

created a widely imitated style of biography and literary criticism in addition
to setting the meticulous tone of reference books. His cause was to make
English, especially the great classics, accessible for all readers. His
dictionary was the first book to address English as it was written and spoken.
It was the first to include context-based information about English. And it was
the first to attempt to enforce a standard of spelling and grammar upon unruly
English, which had no equivalent of an academy to defend its use as proper or
dictionary was huge: Its bulk was made up of the finest paper available,
printed on pages cut to 18 inches in height. At the time, only special editions
of the Bible had been printed on anything nearly so extravagant. Flipping open
to any page, the curious reader could scan double columns of small type.
Entries included a definition and a full-length quotation from a literary
source. Notes on the word’s usage provided a context. The original included
42,773 entries with 114,000 literary examples. The examples were the only portion
of the dictionary that about half a dozen assistants helped in compiling.
two centuries later, the influence of Johnson’s Dictionary on lexicography remains
evident in the way dictionaries are compiled and constructed today.
from and re-written
by us.
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