Posted on

Shakespeare’s Words

Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

But Shakespeare knew this long before Mark Twain spoke these words!

Have you ever received an invitation? Well, you can thank William Shakespeare for bringing that happy word into popularity! William Shakespeare actually invented 1700 words over the course of his lifetime and generously brought them into the wide world through his 154 sonnets and 38 plays.

Dis you know that the rate of words disappearing from English is greater than the rate they are appearing? Yes, the English language is shrinking! I, for one, am so thankful for William Shakespeare and the words he left us to chew on. 

Shakespeare used verbs as adjectives and nouns as verbs. We see the verb “impair” used as an adjective in his play Troilus and Cressida: “Nor dignifies an impair thought with breath.” In his play, Julius Caesar,” he uses the noun “dog” as a verb: ”Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.” He generated compound words like starblasting and doghearted and so much more! He played with suffixes. He played with prefixes. His imagination was limitless!

Above all else Shakespeare reminds us, like Mark Twain, that every word has unique power to communicate!

Come December, we will be celebrating Twelve Days of Haiku. More details tomorrow, but let’s begin with the prizes! We will be giving away a wonderful pairing of Shakespeare’s Words: A Glossary & Companion and Will’s Words: How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk. We will be offering this pairing to three three winners on the last day of 2023!










More details tomorrow!