Johnson Now

Contemporary writers reflect on the linguistic shadow cast today by Samuel Johnson, the compiler of the first great dictionary of the English language.

His monumental dictionary set the standard, and English would never be the same again.

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Episodes

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01Very Like A Whale *20090914

Contemporary writers reflect on the linguistic shadow cast today by Samuel Johnson, the compiler of the first great dictionary of the English language.

His monumental dictionary set the standard, and English would never be the same again.

First Philip Hoare, winner of the 2009 prestigious Samuel Johnson prize for Leviathan, his non-fiction Moby Dick-inspired study of the whale, ponders the similarities between these mammals and words, and the disparities between Melville and Johnson.

Philip Hoare ponders the similarities between Melville and Johnson, and whales and words.

02The Dictionary, The Wiki And The Web2009091520100823

Four contemporary writers reflect on the mighty linguistic shadow left by the compiler of the first great dictionary of the English language, Samuel Johnson.

Johnson's monumental Dictionary set the standard; after Johnson had pronounced, English could never be the same again.

In this series four very different writers from across the world reflect on the Johnsonian linguistic heritage as it plays out in their own world and their own lives.

David Crystal, acclaimed writer on the English language, ponders Johnson's reaction to contemporary word-gathering machinery.

Producer: Marya Burgess

(repeat).

Writer David Crystal wonders what Samuel Johnson's reaction would be to the internet.

David Crystal, a celebrated writer on the English language, ponders what Johnson's reaction would be to the internet.

03Telling It Like It Is2009091620100824

Freya Johnston, lecturer in English at St Anne's College Oxford and author of Samuel Johnson and the Art of Sinking 1709-1791, reflects on how Johnson's direct approach to language and life still influences our everyday use of English today.

Four contemporary writers reflect on the mighty linguistic shadow left by the compiler of the first great dictionary of the English language, Samuel Johnson.

Johnson's monumental Dictionary set the standard; after Johnson had pronounced, English could never be the same again.

In this series four very different writers from across the world reflect on the Johnsonian linguistic heritage as it plays out in their own world and their own lives...

Freya Johnston, lecturer in English at St Anne's College Oxford and author of Samuel Johnson and the Art of Sinking 1709-1791, engages with the language Johnson used which still influences our every day use of English.

Producer: Marya Burgess

(repeat).

Freya Johnston reflects on how Johnson's direct approach to language lives on even today.

04Johnson's Virtual Shadow2009091720100825

Pam Peters, an Australian lexicographer and emeritus professor of linguistics at Macquarie University, reflects on the dictionary since Johnson, especially in the New World.

Lexicographer Pam Peters discusses Samuel Johnson's impact on language in the New World.

Four contemporary writers reflect on the mighty linguistic shadow cast by the compiler of the first great dictionary of the English language, Samuel Johnson.

Johnson's monumental Dictionary set the standard; after Johnson had pronounced, English could never be the same again.

In this series four very different writers from across the world reflect on the Johnsonian linguistic heritage as it plays out in their own world and their own lives...

Pam Peters, eminent Australian lexicographer and Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Macquarie University, reflects on the dictionary since Johnson, especially in the New World.

Producer: Marya Burgess

(repeat).

05 LASTPost-colonial Johnson2009091820100827

Rudrangshu Mukherjee, senior editor of the Calcutta Telegraph, discusses how Johnson's shadow plays across Indian English.

Rudrangshu Mukherjee reflects on the linguistic shadow Samuel Johnson casts over India.

Four contemporary writers reflect on the mighty linguistic shadow cast by the compiler of the first great dictionary of the English language, Samuel Johnson.

Johnson's monumental Dictionary set the standard; after Johnson had pronounced, English could never be the same again.

In this series four very different writers from across the world reflect on the Johnsonian linguistic heritage as it plays out in their own world and their own lives...

Rudrangshu Mukherjee - Senior Editor of the Calcutta Telegraph - on how Johnson's shadow plays across Indian English.

Producer: Marya Burgess

(repeat).