The Gematria Code of Samuel Johnson’s “A Dictionary of the English Language” and the Google Doodle Commemorating His 308th Birthday.

Since we now know that Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language of 1755 was most likely written and published “by the numbers,” now’s a good time to take a closer look at some other matters concerning Dr. Johnson and the influence he’s had on the English language.

A screenshot of the Google Doodle celebrating Samuel Johnson’s 308th, birthday on September 18, 2017.

The effect of Johnson’s dictionary was monumental in the development of the English language, and fittingly enough, Google recognized this through commemorating Johnson’s contribution with his own Google Doodle on September 18, 2017,  Johnson’s 308th birthday.  

That seems like such a peculiar number, 308. However, gematria gives us some insight as to the reason for the unusual  figure. If we take the laws of numerology as our guide, then removing the zero from 308, will leave us with the number 38. The words English, gematria and education  all have reduced gematria of 38. Taken altogether, these connections make September 18, 2017 a fitting symbol for the occasion.

As noted in this previous article, the name Samuel equals 17 in reduced gematria.  Johnson’s address while he was working on the dictionary was 17 Gough Street in London. These primary facts of the man and his work tie in the symbolism of 17 to the year 2017. We can go farther by noting the fact that the reduced gematria for A Dictionary of the English Language equal 153, the 17th triangular number. What that means is that adding the numbers together 1 through 17 yields the sum of 153.

As noted by Zach Hubbard and others, Google’s Doodles consistently echo these patterns which are characteristic of the elite’s code of gematria, a trait shared by Johnson’s dictionary as well.

Johnson’s Dictionary was the first modern dictionary of the English language. Instead of being a list of synonyms, as most previous attempts had been, the entries of Johnson’s dictionary have definitions. Many words throughout have extensive denotation and commentary, which gives the dictionary a very 18th century structure and tone. Yet, what makes the work unique are the extensive examples for the usage of words taken from authors like Shakespeare, Chaucer and Milton. It was Johnson’s own innovation and it added to the authority that the dictionary had until the publication of the first Oxford dictionary 175 years later.

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