Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 October 2018

Dictionaries 

  1. The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order.
    Jean Cocteau 1889–1963 French dramatist and film director: attributed
  2. Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.
    on citations of usage in a dictionary
    Samuel Johnson 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) preface
  3. Lexicographer. A writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge.
    Samuel Johnson 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: A Dictionary of the English Language (1755)
  4. Dictionaries are like watches, the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
    Samuel Johnson 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: letter to Francesco Sastres, 21 August 1784
  5. [The] collective unconscious of the race is the OED.
    James Merrill 1926–  American poet: in American Poetry Review September/October 1979
  6. I suppose that so long as there are people in the world, they will publish dictionaries defining what is unknown in terms of something equally unknown.
    Flann O'Brien 1911–66 Irish novelist and journalist: Myles Away from Dublin (1990)
  7. I've been in Who's Who, and I know what's what, but it'll be the first time I ever made the dictionary.
    on having an inflatable life jacket named after her
    Mae West 1892–1980 American film actress: letter to the RAF, early 1940s; Fergus Cashin Mae West (1981)