Lá pelo meio do século 18, o celebrado Dr. Samuel Johnson publicou o Dictionary of the English Language, obra importantíssima no desenvolvimento do inglês moderno. Seu grande amigo e biógrafo, James Boswell, também ficou famoso com a autoria de Life of Johnson. A obra monumental de Johnson não foi perfeita, todavia, e várias vezes o lexicógrafo foi criticado por erros. Boswell relata assim uma dessas ocorrências:
"A few of his definitions must be admitted to be erroneous. ... ...it is enough to observe, that his Preface [to the Dictionary] announces that he was aware there might be many such in so immense a work; nor was he at all disconcerted when an instance was pointed out to him. A lady once asked him how he came to define Pastern the knee of a horse; instead of making an elaborate defence, as she expected, he at once answered, 'Ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance.'" [p. 211, Oxford World's Classics ed., 1980]
Johnson definiu Lexicographer assim: "a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge." [Ibid., p 212]
So when I'm wrong, I can now add "pure ignorance" to my list of excuses.