There’s a new column on my business website you may enjoy too. It’s called Word of the day, and features “Samuel’s word” and “Narelle’s word”.
Samuel’s words come from the famous dictionary of Dr Samuel Johnson, published in London on 15 April, 1755. It was the first English dictionary to focus on everyday words, and the first to “enlist the works of Shakespeare and other great writers to illustrate a word’s usage.” Johnson published his Dictionary after nine years of hard labour, noting that he did so “with frigid tranquillity,” having written it “without one Act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favour.” He didn’t know his work and wit would be repaid many times over in the centuries to come. Narelle’s words are made up by me, Narelle Hanratty, writer of this column. I simply say what occurs to me when I think of a word. The word is usually one that’s jagged on something on the way through.
Check out what Dr Johnson meant by “erke” [from which we must have got the word irksome] and “disaster”, and what I mean by “voluptuous” and that creeping mistake, “incidences”.
Image: Dr Johnson by Sir Joshua Reynolds, having just read the word incidences