It took Samuel Johnson seven years to complete A Dictionary of the English Language although he thought he would do it in three. According to critic Walter Jackson Bate the Dictionary “easily ranks as one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship, and probably the greatest ever by one individual who laboured under anything like the disadvantages in a comparable length of time.” The book’s influence was sweeping. Johnson established a methodology for lexicography and anyone creating a dictionary after Johnson did so in his shadow.
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