Doctor Who The Intruders BBC America RSS Twitter YouTube Facebook bbcamerica.com

more BBC America Shows on Tumblr »
Almost Royal »
Atlantis »
BBC Earth »
Doctor Who »
The Graham Norton Show »
Orphan Black »
The Musketeers »
Top Gear »

BBC America Program Schedule »

Anglophenia Blog »

How Did Anyone Understand Shakespeare At The Time?

William Shakespeare, it is often said, invented a lot of what we currently call the English language. Not just phrases: you’d expect such a ubiquitous and popular writer to have had more than a passing influence over the sayings and idioms of his language, but actual words. Something like 1700 of them, all told.
To put that into context, there are 17,677 words across all of Shakespeare’s output – sonnets, plays, the lot. So out of every ten words, one will either have been new to his audience, new to his actors, or will have been passingly familiar, but never written down before (in a form that survives to the present day).
Some of them are merely the adjectivisation of verbs, like drugged or laughable, and some are well-used words that have have prefixes or suffixes added in order to fit properly, like remorseless, bloody or invulnerable, but he also invented whole words, out of nothing. Words with no obvious precedent to the listener, unless you were schooled in Latin or Greek; words like lapse, obscene, bubble, amazement, suspicious, apostrophe, auspicious, castigate, critic, dwindle, gnarled, perusal, pious…
Which begs an interesting question. Even at a time of great linguistic upheaval, what on Earth did Shakespeare’s uneducated audience make of this influx of newly-minted language into their entertainment?

read the rest at Anglophenia

How Did Anyone Understand Shakespeare At The Time?

William Shakespeare, it is often said, invented a lot of what we currently call the English language. Not just phrases: you’d expect such a ubiquitous and popular writer to have had more than a passing influence over the sayings and idioms of his language, but actual words. Something like 1700 of them, all told.

To put that into context, there are 17,677 words across all of Shakespeare’s output – sonnets, plays, the lot. So out of every ten words, one will either have been new to his audience, new to his actors, or will have been passingly familiar, but never written down before (in a form that survives to the present day).

Some of them are merely the adjectivisation of verbs, like drugged or laughable, and some are well-used words that have have prefixes or suffixes added in order to fit properly, like remorseless, bloody or invulnerable, but he also invented whole words, out of nothing. Words with no obvious precedent to the listener, unless you were schooled in Latin or Greek; words like lapse, obscene, bubbleamazement, suspicious, apostrophe, auspicious, castigate, critic, dwindle, gnarled, perusal, pious

Which begs an interesting question. Even at a time of great linguistic upheaval, what on Earth did Shakespeare’s uneducated audience make of this influx of newly-minted language into their entertainment?

read the rest at Anglophenia

  1. egghatch reblogged this from ghostymage
  2. ghostymage reblogged this from bolluxfaptor
  3. bolluxfaptor reblogged this from hellaciraptor
  4. hellaciraptor reblogged this from living-in-a-drunken-haze
  5. pussy-willows-and-robot-sex reblogged this from living-in-a-drunken-haze
  6. living-in-a-drunken-haze reblogged this from bbcamerica
  7. subsystemsofenglang reblogged this from bbcamerica
  8. jedibat reblogged this from bbcamerica
  9. lonelytunez reblogged this from patchedworklife
  10. patchedworklife reblogged this from bbcamerica
  11. thedomesticapproach reblogged this from bbcamerica
  12. sensiblesweatervests reblogged this from bbcamerica
  13. kogitoast reblogged this from snivllus
  14. snivllus reblogged this from spoopymormonheckiedream
  15. spoopymormonheckiedream reblogged this from theselectedworksof
  16. magnetklaue reblogged this from vespertilian and added:
    Well, that’s really fascinating. At least for me…and I’m a little odd…
  17. byjoveimbeinghumble reblogged this from anglophileproblems
  18. kuryree reblogged this from librarywildlife
  19. salacious-shoelaces reblogged this from librarywildlife
  20. be-bopbaby reblogged this from anglophileproblems
  21. librarywildlife reblogged this from vespertilian
  22. bluninjaneer reblogged this from anglophileproblems
  23. vespertilian reblogged this from anglophileproblems
  24. domdiddleston reblogged this from jaredpupaleckii
  25. anglophileandbooklover reblogged this from anglophileproblems
  26. the-woman-of-belgravia reblogged this from anglophileproblems
  27. lexxfrosti reblogged this from anglophileproblems
  28. anglophileproblems reblogged this from bbcamerica
  29. archivesnerd reblogged this from bbcamerica
  30. twelvethdoctor reblogged this from bbcamerica