You are on page 1of 4

Test J

R E A DI N G PASSAGE I
Youshould spend about 20 m inutes un Questions 1-13, whit-II are based ( }1/ Reading Passage J
be low,


Johnson'sDicti onary f\;;"

For t he century be fore Johnso n's published hrs Dictionary at t he very


Dictiona ry wa s published in 1775, there beginning of the heyday o f th e middle
had been concern about t he state of the d ass.
English language.There was no standard
Joh nson w as iI poet and critic w ho raised
w ay of speaking or writi ng and no
common se nse t o the heights o f genius.
agre ement as to t he best way o f bringing
H is appro ach t o th e problem s th at had
som e o rde r t o th e chaos' o f English
w orried writer') t hroughout the lat e
spel ling. D r Jo hnson provided t he solution.
sevent eenth and early eighteenth centu ries
There had, o f cour se, been dictio na ries in was int ensely practical. Up unt il his time.
the past, the first of these being a littl e th e t ask 01 producmg a dictionar y o n such
book o f some I 20 p ages, compiled by a a targe scale had seemed impossible
cer tain Ro bert Caw dray, published in / 604 Without the establishm ent o f an academy
under the title A Table Alphabetlcall 'o f hard t o make decisio ns about nght and wrong
usuall English w orde s'. Like t he various usage Joh nson decided he did not need
dict ionaries th at came after it dur ing the an academy to sett le argu ments abo ut
seventeenth century, Cawdray's te nded to language; he would wrrte a dictio nar y
concentrate on 'scholarly' word s; one him self; and he would do it single-handed.
function o f the dictionary was to enable its Johnson signed th e contract (or th e
student t o co nvey an impres sion a f fine Dictionar y With the bookseller Robert
learn ing. D ostey at a breakfast held at the Golden
A nchor Inn near Hol bo m Bar on 18 June
Beyond th e practical need t o make o rder
17 64 . He was to be pa id . 1,575 in
o ut o f chaos.the r ise of dictionaries is
mstalrnents. and (ro m thi s he took money
associated with the ri se of the English
to ren t J 7 Go ugh Square, in w hich he set
m iddle class.w ho were anxious t o define
up hrs 'dict io nary w orksh op'.
and circum scribe th e various worlds to
con quer - lexical as IJIfeHas social and Jame s Boswe ll, his bio grapher. described
comme rcial. It is highly appropriat e that th e garret where jobnson WO r ked as 'fitted
Dr Samuel Johnson, t he very model of an up like a count ing house' w ith a long desk
eighteenth-cent ury literary man, as famo us running down t he midd le at w hich the
in hrs own time as in ou rs, should have co pying clerks would wor k standing up.

16
Reading

Johnson himself was sta tioned on a ricke ty Au thor. an Honour to his CIoNn Country in
chair at an 'o ld crazy dea l ta ble' particular, and a ge neral Benefit to th e
surrounded by a chaos o f bor rowed re public o f Lett ers t hroughout Europe:
books. He was also he lped by six The fact that Johnso l1 had ta ken on th e
assistants. two of w hom died whilst the Academies of Europe and matched th em
Dtctionary was still in preparat ion. (everyone knew that forty Fre nch
academics had taken forty yea rs to
The work wa s immense; filling about eighty
pr oduce the first French national
large notebooks (and without a libra ry to
dictionary) was cau se for much English
hand), Johnson w rote the defi nitions of
ce lebration.
over 40.000 word s, and ill ustrated t he ir
many meanings with so me 114,000 Jo hnson had wor ked for nine years,'with
quotat ions drawn from English writing o n litt le assistance of the learned , and wit hou t
every subjec t, fro m t he Elizabethans to his any patronage o f t he great; not in t he soft
own time. He did not expect to ach ieve o bscurities of retirement, or under the
complete o riginality. W o rking to a deadline . she lter o f aca demic bowers, but amidst
he had to draw on the best o f all previous inconvenience and d istraction, in sicknes s
dictionar ies, and to make his work o ne of and in sorrow', For all its faults and
heroic synthesis. In fact, it was very m uch e cce ntricities his two -volum e work is a
more. Unlike his predecessors. jo hnso n masterpiece and a landmark. in his awn
treated English ve ry practically; as a living words. 'setting the orthography displaying
language, wit h many differe nt shades of the analogy, regulati ng t he structures, and
meaning, He adopted his d efinitions o n the ascertaining the significations of English
principle of English co mmon law - words'. It is the cornerstone of Standard
according to prece dent After its English, an achreve ment which, in James
publication, his Oiaionary wa s not seriously Boswe ll's words,'co nferred sta bility on the
rivalled for over a cent ury. lan guage o f his co untry'.
After many vicissit udes t he Dictionary was The DICtionary, togeth er with his other
ftnallypublished on 15 April I n s. It was w rit ing. ma de Johnson famous an d so well
instantly recognised as a landmark esteemed th at his friends were able to
throughout Europe. 'This very noble work,' prevail upo n King George III to offer him a
wrote the lead ing Italian le xic:ographer;'will pension. Fro m t he n on, he was to beco me
be a perpetu al monument of Fame to t he th e Joh nson of folklore .

17
Test I

Questions 1-3
Choose THREE letters A-H.

Write your answers in boxes J, J on your answer sheet.

NB Your answers may be given in any order.

Which nlREE o f the following statements are true of Johnson's Dictionary?

A It avoided all scholarly words.


B It was the only English dictionary in general use for 200 years.
C It was fa mo us because of the large number of people involved.
D It focused mainly on language from contemporary texts.
E There was a time limit for its completion.
F It ignored work done by previous dictionary writers.
G It took into account su btleties of meaning.
H Its definitions were famous for their originality.

Qutstiom 4-7
Complete the summary.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passagefor each answer.

Write your an.-twers in boxes 4- 7 on your answer sheet.

In 1764 Dr Johnson accepted the contract to produce a dictionary. Having rented a


garret. he took on a number of 4 who stood at a long central desk .
Johnson did not have as , available to him. but eventually produced
definitions of in excess of 40.000 word s written d own in 80 large notebooks. On
publication, the Dictionary was immediately hailed in many European countries as a
landmark. According to his biographer. James Boswell. Johnson's principal
achievement was 10 bring 6 to the English language. As a reward for his
hard work, he was granted a 7 _ _ _ _. by the king.

18
Reading

(lwestio"s 8-13
Do thefollowing statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage I?

Inboxes 8-11 on your answer sheet, write

TIIUE if the statement agrees with the information


FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOTGIYEN if there is no information on this
The growing importance of the middle classes led to an increased demand for
dictionaries.
9 Johnson has become more well known since his death.
10 Johnson had been planning 10 write a dictionary for several years.
II Johnson set up an academy to help with the writing of his Dictionary.
11 Johnson onlyreceived payment for his Dictionary on its completion.
13 Not allof the assistants survived to see the publication of the Dictionary.

19