Jokes for all occasions: ruling passion

Noah Webster, the maker of the dictionary, carried his exact knowledge as to the meaning of words into ordinary speech. A story told of him—which is, of course, untrue—illustrates the point.

Noah’s wife entered the kitchen, to find him kissing the cook.

“Why, Noah,” she exclaimed, “I am surprised!”

The lexicographer regarded his wife disapprovingly, and rebuked her:

You are astonished—I am surprised.”