Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ham Sandwich Hamlet

I know I can't be the only one who thought of a ham every time I saw or read "Hamlet." It led me to think about Shakespeare and all the words he invented that we commonly use today. ("Ham" isn't one of those words.)
When I was little I would come up with some pretty stupid words and they, of course, did not stick around. I have to commend Shakespeare for his intelligence and influence--he came up with over 1700 words for the English language by "changing nouns to verbs, changing verbs to adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original." Below is a list of some of the few words Shakespeare coined. I think he certainly transformed our language and expanded the scope of what could be accomplished through literature with his contributions.


Sri Korrapati said...


Belin Manalle said...

It is amazing to me that one author can have so much of an influence on our current society. Not only is his name and his work extremely well-known, but we also use words that he simply created on a daily basis. I can't even imagine having my childhood vocabulary being used in a common setting, even if it was just slang! Also, as a child it may be easy to make up your own language in order to indicate what you are referring to. However, I feel that as an adult making up a completely original word would be extremely difficult. So props to Shakespeare for doing that with ease or so it seems, and for having these words stick around so long.