Today’s Google doodle celebrates the British writer, Samuel Johnson, on his 308th birthday. A poet, essayist, biographer and critic, Johnson was a prolific writer, but he is often best known for his contribution as a lexicographer.
Johnson published “Dictionary of the English Language” in 1775, after nine years spent putting it together. His dictionary served as the primary English dictionary until the Oxford English Dictionary was published 150 years later.
“It was described as ‘one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship,’ and had a far-reaching effect on modern English,” writes Google on the Google Doodle Blog, “It was colossal at nearly 18-inches tall!”
The animated doodle honoring Johnson was designed by doodler Sophie Diao and includes an image of the writer within his “Dictionary of the English Language.” Highlighting the term lexicographer, the doodle leads to a search for “Samuel Johnson.”
Today’s doodle includes Johnson’s definition for “lexicographer” — a writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original and detailing the signification of words, but my favorite Johnson quote has always been: “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.” (Credited to Johnson in James Boswell’s “The Life of Samuel Johnson.”)
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