1. "You can define a net two ways, depending on your point of view. Normally you would say it is a meshed instrument designed to catch fish. But you could, with no great injury to logic, reverse the image and define the net as a jocular lexicographer once did: he called it a collection of holes tied together with string."
- Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot
2. "Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit it is the first."
- Quote by Ambrose Bierce
3. "LEXICOGRAPHER, n. A pestilent fellow who, under the pretense of recording some particular stage in the development of a language, does what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods. For your lexicographer, having written his dictionary, comes to be considered "as one having authority," whereas his function is only to make a record, not to give a law. The natural servility of the human understanding having invested him with judicial power, surrenders its right of reason and submits itself to a chronicle as if it were a statue. Let the dictionary (for example) mark a good word as "obsolete" or "obsolescent" and few men thereafter venture to use it, whatever their need of it and however desirable its restoration to favor — whereby the process of improverishment is accelerated and speech decays. On the contrary, recognizing the truth that language must grow by innovation if it grow at all, makes new words and uses the old in an unfamiliar sense, has"
- Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary
4. "When we see men grow old and die at a certain time one after another, from century to century, we laugh at the elixir that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal justice may the lexicographer be derided, who being able to produce no example of a nation that has preserved their words and phrases from mutability, shall imagine that his dictionary can embalm his language, and secure it from corruption and decay, that it is in his power to change sublunary nature, or clear the world at once from folly, vanity, and affectation."
- Melvyn Bragg, The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language
5. "War…next to love, has most captured the world’s imagination – Eric Partridge, famous lexicographer and author who served in the Australian Imperial Force during WWI"
- Quote by Eric Partridge
6. "By the twelfth century, writers from the regions around Paris—Picardy, Wallonie, Normandy, Champagne and Orléans—were making a conscious effort to eliminate dialectal characteristics in their writing so they could be understood by a larger number of people. However, regional influences did not disappear all at once. For example, Béroul’s Tristan et Iseut (Tristan and Isolde) was the work of a Norman-speaking trouvère (a troubadour of the north), whereas Chrétien de Troyes’s Romans de la table ronde (Stories of the Round Table) clearly shows accents of Champagne. Yet their writing shows they purposefully blurred dialectal differences. It was not the last time in the history of French that a group of writers would take the lead in hammering out the language. According to the French lexicographer Alain Rey, by the twelfth century this scripta—which Gaston Paris called Francien— already existed in an oral form among the lettrés (men and women of letters). But Francien took much longer to"
- Jean-Benoît Nadeau, The Story of French