Star Trek: Deep Space Nine TV - David Dimbleby TV - Blackadder TV - Lewis Carroll - Samuel Johnson - Les Dawson - George Orwell -
If you speak to the prophets again, ask for a dictionary. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine s6e21: The Reckoning, Dax to Sisko
In 1755 Johnson’s great masterpiece was published ... It was this two-volume Dr Johnson’s dictionary of the English language. David Dimbleby: Seven Ages of Britain: Age of Money, BBC 2010
I shall become best friends with the cleverest man in England. That renowned brainbox Dr Samuel Johnson has asked me to be patron of his new book and I intend to accept. Blackadder III: Ink & Incapability, Prince to Blackadder, BBC 1987
It’s the most pointless book since How to Learn French was translated into French. ibid. Blackadder to Prince
So you’re asking where the big papery thing tied up with string belonging to the batey fellow in the black coat who just left is? ibid. Baldrick to Blackadder
Sir, I have been unable to replace the dictionary. I am therefore leaving immediately for Nepal where I intend to live as a goat. ibid. Blackadder to Prince
Blackadder: Yes, and your definition of dog is?
Baldrick: Not a cat. ibid.
Sir, I hope you are not using the first English dictionary to look up rude words? ibid. Dr Johnson to Prince
Nothing a roaring fire can’t solve. Baldrick do the honours, will you. ibid. Blackadder
What a comfort a Dictionary is! Lewis Carroll
Dictionaries are like watches, the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true. Samuel Johnson
I am not yet so lost in lexicography as to forget that words are the daughters of the earth, and that things are the sons of heaven. Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas: I wish, however, that the instrument might be less apt to decay, and that signs might be permanent, like the things which they donate. Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, 1755
Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language. ibid.
But these were the dreams of a poet doomed at last to wake a lexicographer. ibid.
My lad chewed and swallowed a dictionary. We gave him Epsom salts – but we can’t get a word out of him. Les Dawson
‘The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,’ he said. ‘We’re getting the language into its final shape – the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we’ve finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We’re destroying words – scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won’t contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050. George Orwell, 1984