Samuel Johnson: Panjandrum of Prose and Poetry

Today's birthday is Samuel Johnson's.
On proper English brooked no nonsense.
He did pontificate upon
Them in a famous lexicon.

"As Samuel Johnson paused to rest on a London park bench one hot summer's day, his profusely sweating bulk caused a young woman sitting next to him to accuse him of smelling. 'No, Madam,' he replied. 'You smell, I stink.'" [Manfred Krifka, in "A Note on an Asymmetry in the Hedonic Implicatures of Olfactory and Gustatory Terms"]

Filed under: literature, words

Tags: 1709-1784, James Boswell


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  • Some dogs do both.

    Noah Webster was credited with American English spelling, but Col. McCormick was unsuccessful in simplifying it further.

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