In this hilarious update of his original Dictionary, bewigged lexicographer Dr Samuel Johnson takes a curmudgeonly look at modern life, from Celebrity Big Brother to David Cameron.
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Published: 02 September 2010
In 2009 Dr Samuel Johnson made a surprise re-emergence from eighteenth century retirement and began Twittering. It proved the perfect vehicle for his acerbic, aphoristic wit and he has quickly become the darling of the site. The Guardian calls him the 'greatest' thing on Twitter and the Telegraph dubs him its 'star'.Our gouty man of letters finds the modern world in a parlous state. It is peopled with fools like 'Raisin-ey'd Tyrant Mister Nick GRIFFIN' and 'BABOON-SLAYER, Fop, Macaroni, Dandy & Folderol, Mister AA Gill'. His attempts to negotiate a path through the vagaries of modern life do not fare well either - for instance, on a trip to 'Mister LIBERTY'S blast'd Haberdashery', upon finding 'all else clad as Lumber-Jacks, I left thwart'd & alone... unwilling to dress as an unmanly Pastiche of Mister COBAIN.' In his Dictionary of Modern Life, our gouty man of letters takes a wickedly funny look at all things modern. From Top Gear and the Daily Mail to Dubstep and Celebrity Big Brother, nothing escapes his sardonic gaze.
An actual genius
For those familiar with @drsamueljohnson's twitter feed, it will come as no surprise that this is one of the cleverest and funniest books out this year. Nothing escapes, whether it's Nick Clegg or X-factor and all will leave you giggling at the sheer brilliance of a modern day lexicographer who can define pretty much anything in just 140 characters. However, reader beware, don't try to paraphrase, it never works! I'll leave you with one of my favourite definitions:Ryanair: n.airborne Cattle-Driving Concern; on occasion it does grudgingly convey PEOPLE in its Pens & Shackles
Now, I rarely sit down and read dictionaries through from front to back…but for Dr Johnson, I made an exception…much to the delight of the boyfriend, I was giggling to myself, attempting to dictate (in my best “olde English accent”) various definitions and for the most part, distracting him from the television…But there was a good reason for it! I was having a great time reading the ‘Dictionary of Modern Life’. As well as the witty definitions and cheeky examples…the introductions to the chapters are fantastic! I also think that had my ABC Alphabet book been as up-to-date as this one (i.e. B is for Books, D is for Disney, F is for Facelift…), I would have been much better prepared for the world! What were they thinking, X is for xylophone!? When do you use that in conversation!? Anyway, back to Dr Johnson…‘Dr Johnson’s Dictionary of Modern Life’ is a humorous look at this crazy mixed-up world that we live in! Hopefully there will be lots more ‘Dr Johnson’s Dictionary of…’s in the years to come because, anything that brightens up the seriousness of life is gold dust!Here are a few relevant, humorous examples to tempt you!“Blog n.electronick Diary unto which earnest Fools do commit their innermost Thoughts, safe that no Man shall ever read themBooker Prize n.Cabal of Necromancers & Shamen meeting once yearly to endow but one Book with mythick PopularityGhost Writer n.hidden Drudge, frequently compell’d to fashion the verbal Clay of Mistress Katie PRICE into Clods of near Sense”Okay, one more…“Mister Men n.Geometrickals whose Parents had the Prescience to name them after their defining Characteristick: CLEVER, BUMP, TICKLE, &c”A BRILLIANT book for presents, stocking-fillers and general amusement! Check it out (or put it on your Christmas list)
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Click here to pursue the good doctor on Twitter!
Peruse his blog!
Our own 21st-century wordsmith returns with a veritable cornucopia of modern linguistic delights. Strewth! Click here to pursue him on ye twitter.
The latter-day Dr Johnson is AKA Tom Morton. Tom was born in Berkshire in 1973 and studied Politics as Bristol University. He has spent the last fouteen years working in advertising. Thanks to an inspiring ...