“The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it.” – Samuel JohnsonLisa Gold: Research Maven Discuss Next post
I thought this famous Samuel Johnson quote would be an appropriate way to begin my blog. The problem is that Johnson never actually said this, despite the fact that you’ll find this attributed to him on a number of different quotation websites. None of these websites identified the original source of the Johnson quote, so I decided to dig a little deeper. The Apocrypha section of Frank Lynch’s Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page identifies this quote as a corruption of something Johnson did say, which was recorded by James Boswell in his Life of Johnson. The actual Johnson quote is: “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.” I confirmed this by searching the text of Boswell’s Life of Johnson online.