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Happy 450th!

posted Apr 23, 2014, 11:40 AM by Joy Henley   [ updated Apr 23, 2014, 11:41 AM ]
It's a word lover's holiday!

Today is generally acknowledged as William Shakespeare's birthday, and, were he still alive, he'd be a very creepy 450 years old. Eeew.

However, potential zombification of the Bard aside, for a wordnerd like me, this is a day bordering on sacred. The English language owes much to this imaginative man. In fact, I have a flip book that allows me to create my own Shakespearean insults. It was a gift from my parents one Christmas, and I love it. (I really need to use it more. But the good gendarmes in the local burg where I reside have this thing about reading whilst driving, so I'd have to memorize lots of it to use the insults on fellow drivers. Or create an app. But I digress.)

While some might think of Shakespeare as inherently stuffy, and iambic pentameter a curse of the gods, there's a surprising number of phrases coined by the man that are still in use today.

Don't believe me?

Here's twenty words credited to Shakespeare's invention and ingenuity with language.

Still not convinced?

This is a list of fifty words and phrases that have entered the popular lexicon because the Bard penned them first. (There are a couple of duplicates with the other list, but these two are by no means exhaustive.)

In fact, Shakespeare is so embedded in our language that references often show up in the most punishing of ways...

I'm not sorry at all!

Besides, you'd already figured out that I'm nuts. Right? (It helps when you're in this business. Trust me.)

Shall we compare the Bard's words to a summer's day? Or shall we apply them to...say... wrecks?

Shakespeare! The gift that keeps on giving!

And since I'm such a giver today, I'll offer you this. Ever wondered what Redneck Willie Shakes would sound like?

Now you know.

You're welcome.