Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language

Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language

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Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson

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Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language

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offendere; quod impedite loquentes libentissime garrire soleant; vel quod aliis nimii semper videantur, etiam parcissime loquentes.]

Our knowledge of the northern literature is so scanty, that of words undoubtedly Teutonick the original is not always to be found in any ancient language; and I have therefore inserted Dutch or German substitutes, which I consider not as radical but parallel, not as the parents, but sisters of the English.

The words which are represented as thus related by descent or cognation, do not always agree in sense; for it is incident to words, as to their authours, to degenerate from their ancestors, and to change their manners when they change their country. It is sufficient, in etymological enquiries, if the senses of kindred words be found such as may easily pass into each other, or such as may both be referred to one general idea.

The etymology, so far as it is yet known, was easily found in the volumes where it is particularly and professedly delivered; and, by proper att

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