Quotes on Dictionaries
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94. Dictionaries
Boswell: "It may be of use, Sir, to have a Dictionary to ascertain the pronunciation." Johnson: "Why, Sir, my Dictionary shows you the accent of words, if you can but remember them." Boswell: "But, Sir, we want marks to ascertain the pronunciation of the vowels. Sheridan, I believe, has finished such a work." Johnson: "Why, Sir, consider how much easier it is to learn a language by the ear, than by any marks. Sheridan's Dictionary may do very well; but you cannot always carry it with you: and, when you want the word, you have not the Dictionary. It is like a man who has a sword that will not draw. It is an admirable sword, to be sure: but while your enemy is cutting your throat, you are unable to use it."
Boswell: Life

535. Dictionaries
"Dictionaries are like watches: the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true."
Johnson: Letter to Fransesco Sastres (August 21, 1784)

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