tech2 News StaffSep 18, 2017 07:13:22 IST
Google is celebrating the 308th birth anniversary of the father of the modern dictionary — Samuel Johnson. Johnson is renowned for creating the English language's most comprehensive dictionary back in the 1750s.
The Google Doodle shows an animation of a dictionary, which opens up to reveal an entry called Lexicographer. The rolling text animation on top of the image then goes on to describe the word as "A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original and detailing the signification of words".
Johnson was born in 1709 and had worked for around nine years to come up with the 'Dictionary of the English Language' which was published in 1755. This was the dictionary that was the most popular one till the Oxford English Dictionary was completed by 1928.
Johnson's dictionary had over 42,000 entries and it was considered to be the most comprehensive achievement of scholarship back in the day. It provided valuable insights into the language and culture of 18th century.
Johnson's dictionary was 18-inches tall. It was the most used dictionary till the Oxford English Dictionary came about almost 150 years later. Apart from being a lexicographer, Johnson was also a poet, critic, biographer and editor.
The use of physical dictionaries is on the decline, thanks to search engines such as Google itself and the app variants of dictionaries. While Google was a made up word, Doodle does exist in Johnson's dictionary on page 638. But unlike today, Doodle meant 'an idler' or 'trifler'.
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