Tag: linguistics

Seven Words Shakespeare Invented

Did you know Shakespeare invented more than 1700 words? Probably. Maybe. There’s a bunch of controversy. Still, he definitely invented some words we use every day. You can probably find the long list if you really want, but here are seven. You may sense a theme.

 

 

1. Countless

Image via Astronomy.com

 

This is a pretty pedestrian word. Obviously Shakespeare didn’t invent the idea of counting, but he did give us a useful way to talk about it. It’s definitely faster than saying ‘without measure’.

 

2. Gloomy

Image via Imagekind

 

What would we do without the word gloomy? No synonym comes close. Dark? Shadowy? Get out of here. In this, the gloomiest season, it’s only right we honor the word itself.

 

 

3. Critic

Image via The List

 

Where would we be without critics? How would we know what super hero movies are actually worth the trouble? In 2019, it’s hard, and I say that as a fan.

 

 

4. Bloody

Image via The Craftory

 

Another one that’s hella seasonably appropriate. Another one where there are no good synonyms, though I feel like if you want to convey it there are some fun gothic options.

 

 

5. Pious

Image via Flickr

 

This one’s got ‘devout’ but pious does have a different vibe, maybe more smugness? Whatever it is, you can never have too many synonyms. Words, words, words.

 

 

6. Lonely

Image via Cru

 

Whatever would we do without lonely? Loneliness, lonesome, just a lot of feeling in a small space. Shakespeare knew what was up, though it doesn’t seem like HE was ever alone.

 

 

7. Majestic

Image via Reddit

 

Majestic is a great word, for both serious and ironic usage (a lot of the images I found were derpy lions and unlikely centaurs). It conveys something ‘great’ just doesn’t.

 

 

 

Featured image via ThoughtCo

Our Favorite Tolkien & Lewis Apocrypha

Tolkien and Lewis were both in residence at Oxford for many years, studying and teaching both. They were also close friends, even though they disagreed on almost everything. Sure, they had a shared interest in language, and in what we now call fantasy, but they disagreed on religion, and on the tones of their books. There are also a lot of stories about their friendship, few confirmed, but all amazing. Here are our favorites!

 

1. The Lamppost

 

Image via Dissolve

 

There’s a story that says Lewis specifically put the lamppost in Narnia because Tolkien said a good fantasy story would never have one. The sheer pettiness. What an icon. No fantasy story would have a lamppost? Well this one does! Please, TELL Lewis what his story can have. There’s no slowing him down. A lesson in spite we should really all take to heart.

 

 

2. Religion

 

Image via IOL

 

Tolkien was, as well as being a linguist and historian, quite Catholic, and Lewis found his philosophical suggestions appealing, becoming religious himself. Tolkien didn’t get what he wanted, though, because though Lewis became more religious, he was Protestant, and Tolkien didn’t at all appreciate how much religion was in Lewis’ books. Kinda played himself.

 

3. The Draft

 

Image via The Creative Penn

 

Apparently when Lewis first read his draft of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to Tolkien and a croup of friends, Tolkien hated it. He thought it was terrible and combined too many mythologies. He wanted more consistent world building, and I don’t have a good source for this, but I’ve heard he even told Lewis to stop writing.

 

 

 

Featured image via J A Carlisle 

Six Iconic Shakespeare Memes

Shakespeare’s plays are whackier and whackier the more you read. Confusion, dirty jokes, and some pretty unbelievable things happening at sea. So many things are just begging to be memed. It’s a shame memes weren’t even invented until four hundred years after his death. At least we can give his works the meming they deserve retroactively.

Image via Pintrest

 

What an icon. Shakespeare invented countless words, including the word countless. But let’s get to plot nonsense.

I confess, my love of hamlet shows a little here, but who can blame me? There’s a reason it’s so widely read. Plus, Hamlet himself is such an incredibly quotable character, who wouldn’t make a meme? Like his most famous line.

Image via Dorkly

 

But it’s not just the things he says when he’s alone and feeling emo. Hamlet comes face to face with almost everyone in the play, in a way that changes it around him, even when he’s not staging mini murder plays.

Image via Citizen Sociolinguistics

 

I think we can all agree Ophelia deserved better. Who does he think he is, a prince? He-hem. Usually tossing a girl around a room (in some adaptations) is not the way to her heart. But you know what’s actually a worse seduction tactic?

Image via Dorkly

 

Yikes. That’s one way to get her alone. Not one I can condone, though. Alright, enough about Denmark. We could go on like this forever.

Let’s talk about history. No, it’s not the picture of an impaled bottle of Caesar salad dressing, as iconic as that is. It’s not the only Julius Caesar meme.

Image via SparkNotes

 

What happens when you kill the one fun friend? Then again, I guess all getting together to stab someone could be considered a party of sorts. It’s certainly one way to bond with your coworkers. Work outing? Tried it and I CANNOT recommend.

Image via Pintrest

I had to include a Much Ado About Nothing meme, because it’s my all time fave, and this is my favorite adaptation. Plus, just about every character is an absolute meme, start to finish.

 

 

Featured image via Shakespeare Teacher

When I See the Oxford Comma

Look, I get it. This is the modern world. This is the internet. Punctuation and spelling are fluid and evocative. The linguistics of the internet are fast moving and instinctive, and I love that. But let’s talk about Oxford comma.

I know we’re not passionate about actually using punctuation here. Every time I see someone use a period at the end of a text, I feel the kind of primordial fear I thought was reserved for life or death situations. And don’t get me started on the most ominous punctuation choices of all…..

 

Sure, it’s the serif font of punctuation. It seems old fashioned at best, effected superfluous. Darn, I forgot the oxford comma, but I’m sure it still made sense.

 

Image via KnowYourMeme

 

Context is a beautiful thing, of course, but those would be galaxy brain names for some rhinoceri. You can assume, but you can’t be sure. Maybe the rhino tamer is just a huge history nerd. Here are my emus, Jefferson and Adams.

Sure, people who overuse commas are pedants (eh-hem), but sometimes they’re necessary. If the point is to be understood, why make people guess? Not everyone is going to know your rhinoceros naming philosophies.

 

Image via edudemic

 

Grammar doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are all these people, including rhinoceroses. If you’re describing something, no Oxford comma. Or, these are my rhinoceri. Here are their names. Let’s try and take ourselves seriously.

Not to be unrelateable, but just like grammar.

 

sayingimages

 

Even if you don’t feel the same, though, the Oxford comma isn’t to be dropped. I don’t know the last time I used a period, but these days, we write for clarity. We capitalize words for Emphasis. Drop what doesn’t work, but keep what does. Internet language is streamlined, and I think that’s beautiful. Let’s keep it that way. But don’t eat grandma in the process.

Featured image via ImgFlip