Dictionary Creator Gets Modern Rhymes

Dr Samuel Johnson has been an active Twitterer for some time but recently he has published a new dictionary based on our modern world.

Of course, it’s a fake but as an extract from the Quietus shows, author phoney-Johnston Tom Morton has captured much of Dr Johnson’s humour especially when defining hip-hop right down to the characteristic spelling. Here’s the basic definition: “Hip-Hop is oft defin’d as rhythmick Oratory set to a Beat; heralded as the inventive Poetry of the Streets & then condemn’d for all the Ills of Mankind.”

There’s a discussion of hip-hop artists (“equal Part a Town-Crier, Poet, Peacock & Highwayman”). But Mortons seems to have most fun translating lyrics into Johnson-ism, such as Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” as “Tis like a Jungle out there, oft-times I wonder how I keep from going UNDER. Push me not, SIR, I am close ‘pon the Edge. I try, most ardently, not to lose my HEAD”. Or take his re-working of Kelis’ “Milkshake”: “My Milk-Cart brings all the Rakes unto the Yard forthwith, and verily, it is better than THINE”.

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