Thursday, June 28, 2018

'I Doubt the Veracity of Your Information'

J.W. Croker, ed., Johnsoniana; or, Supplement to Boswell: Being Anecdotes and Sayings of Dr. Johnson (1836):

“A gentleman once told Dr. Johnson that a friend of his, looking into the Dictionary which the Doctor had lately published, could not find the word ocean. ‘Not find ocean,’ exclaimed our Lexicographer; ‘Sir, I doubt the veracity of your information!’ He instantly stalked into his library and, opening the work in question with the utmost impatience, at last triumphantly put his finger upon the subject of research, adding, ‘There, Sir; there is ocean!’ The gentleman was preparing to apologise for the mistake; but Dr. Johnson good-naturedly dismissed the subject with ‘Never mind it, Sir; perhaps your friend spells it with an s.’”

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