BOOKS
03/01/2011 12:57 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Satirical Dictionaries: Their Indefinable Charm

The success of the Twitter feed purporting to be the 140-character updates of none other than Dr Samuel Johnson, in which wry, satirical definitions are given to common words, would seem to be a very 21st-century phenomenon.

The real Dr Johnson died in 1784 -- but it was his devotion to lexicography that paved the way for Tom Morton, the man behing the tweets, to offer gems such as "Valentine (n.) Patron-Saint of avaricious Florists & the MAWKISH: his Feast mark'd by Consumption of pinkish Victuals" on the social networking site.

Read more on guardian.co.uk

Subscribe to the Culture Shift email.
Get your weekly dose of books, film and culture.