Samuel Johnson comes from a long line of distinguished 18th century English writers that I’ve never heard of. Well, that’s not completely true. Once I started reading about him, the faintest of bells rang in my head (kind of like the raise-your-hand-when-you-hear-a-beep auditory test they used to give us in school) — Johnson is the Dictionary Guy. In 1755, he wrote what’s considered the first comprehensive and reliable English language dictionary, The Dictionary of the English Language. But, Johnson didn’t write the first dictionary — there are probably a dozen guys ahead of him in that line.
So, was the Dictionary Guy a wine drinker? Yes and no.
Johnson vacillated between heavy drinking and abstinence all of his life. He once explained, “I can’t drink a little, therefore I never touch it. Abstinence is as easy to me, as temperance would be difficult.”
Johnson was a pretty shrewd observer, though. To wit, here are today’s words:
True and funny! There probably aren’t many of us who haven’t seen this happen at a party. Hell, it’s happened to me (you know, the things you say that sound a lot smarter in your head).