Published: Mon, September 18, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Samuel Johnson's Birthday: Google Celebrates His Birthday With A Doodle

Samuel Johnson's Birthday: Google Celebrates His Birthday With A Doodle

Today's Google Doodle celebrated the 308th birthday of British lexicographer - Samuel Johnson - who is also referred as father of modern dictionary.

It took him nine years of work to publish his "A Dictionary of the English Language" in 1755, and it remained the most renowned compendium of the language until the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later. Though, it's important to note that Johnson's was not the first dictionary, but the ones that preceded him were of poor quality, while the committed Tory's version had wit and the explanations were quite entertaining. Its pages were almost 18 inches (46 cm) tall, and the book was 20 inches (51 cm) wide when opened; it contained 42,773 entries, to which only a few more were added in subsequent editions, and it sold for the extravagant price of £4 10s.

The rise of search engines is responsible in part for the decline in dictionary sales, making Google's tribute somewhat ironic. A man of artifice; one of deep contrivance.

If thou had'st got the victory.

Boswell's Life, along with other biographies, documented Samuel's behaviour and mannerisms in such detail that they have informed the posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome, a condition not defined or diagnosed in the 18th century. He was a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer and was described by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history".

Often referred to as Dr Johnson, Samuel Johnson was born in Lichfield, 1709 - appropriately above the family's bookshop. It is said that Johnson began working on it only after noon and thought of completing it in three years. After a series of illnesses, he died on the evening of 13 December 1784, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

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