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Ask A Question Thursday

May 2, 2019
mandyevebarnett


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As we all know Shakespeare was adept at creating numerous words for his own works, which are even today in common usage (whether we known their origin or not!) So today’s question is: Do you make your own vocabulary words in your book or resort to the existing ones?

shakespeare_words_used_today

Here is a list of Shakespeare’s unique words:  

Bandit Henry VI, Part 2. 1594

Critic Love’s Labour Lost. 1598.

Dauntless Henry VI, Part 3. 1616.

Dwindle Henry IV, Part 1. 1598.

Elbow (as a verb) King Lear. 1608.

Green-Eyed (to describe jealousy) The Merchant of Venice. 1600.

Lackluster As You Like It. 1616.

Lonely Coriolanus. 1616.

Skim-milk Henry IV, Part 1. 1598.

Swagger Midsummer Night’s Dream. 1600.

Shakespeare must have loved the prefix un- because he created or gave new meaning to more than 300 words that begin with it. Here are just a few:

Unaware Venus & Adonis. 1593.

Uncomfortable Romeo & Juliet. 1599

Undress Taming of the Shrew. 1616.

Unearthly A Winter’s Tale. 1616

Unreal Macbeth. 1623

When we look at these words it is fascinating to think until the Bard created them they did not exist!

Please post your comments below.

Last week’s question: Where is your perfect writing retreat?

Weather it’s sitting somewhere with a legal pad, or sitting at my desk in front of my desktop computer, I need complete silence when I write.

Although I began my novel, NOLA Gals with an extended metaphor of the ocean while on a cruise, poolside with a tropical drink, I wrote most of it alone at my sister’s cottage. I moved back and forth between deck and kitchen table, piling up research books & handwriting historical data in ringed notebooks. Eventually it all came together on my laptop.

A Shakespearean Celebration and Prompt…

April 25, 2014
mandyevebarnett


FunDayI could not pass up the opportunity to share the celebrations planned in the UK for Shakepeare’s 450th birthday! http://www.shakespearesbirthday.org.uk/?page_id=19

The Bard would have been shocked and hopefully pleased, if he were present today with the adoration and celebration in his honor. For those who are curious about William’s life this link is great. http://www.shakespearesbirthday.org.uk/?page_id=88

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Shakespearean Quotes:

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.

Fun Prompt:

In true Shakespearean hommage let us write a sonnet.

Please share yours!

For my USA followers in MA here is a literary festival to attend. http://www.newburyportliteraryfestival.org/

Euphemism’s Abound…

November 19, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Euphemism – definition: the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague word or expression for a more harsh one

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We all know several euphemism’s, I am sure. It is why we use them that is interesting. It may be to lessen pain or distress to someone or to hide a fact from a younger person or child. We can openly say these phrases without emotional harm to the person we are saying them to or about. Is this sugar coating reality – yes it is – but they do prevent embarrassing or hurtful situations on both sides of the conversation.

Take the example of two older people discussing a friend who has died. They would not say ‘died’ rather use passed away.

In literature we can find euphemisms, such as :

George Orwell has the “The Squealer”, a character in his “Animal Farm”, using the word readjustment instead of reduction when announcing food rationing to suppress the complaints of other animals about hunger. Reduction means “cutting” food supply while readjustment implies changing the current amount of food.

“For the time being,” he explains, “it had been found necessary to make a readjustment of rations.”

In William Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra”. In Act 2 Scene 2, Agrippa says about Cleopatra:

“Royal wench!
She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed.
He plowed her, and she cropped.”

The word “plowed” refers to the act of sexual intercourse and the word “cropped” is a euphemism for becoming pregnant.

Here are some euphemism’s but by no means all of them:

  • Passed away or departed instead of died
  • Correctional facility instead of jail
  • Fell off the back of a truck instead of stolen
  • Ethnic cleansing instead of genocide
  • Collateral damage instead of accidental deaths
  • Letting someone go instead of firing someone
  • Put to sleep instead of euthanize
  • On the streets instead of homeless
  • Adult entertainment instead of pornography
  • Au natural instead of naked
  • Big-boned or portly instead of heavy or overweight
  • Use the rest room or powder your nose instead of go to the bathroom
  • Break wind instead of pass gas
  • Economical with the truth instead of liar
  • The birds and the bees instead of sex
  • Between jobs instead of unemployed
  • Vertically-challenged instead of short

Do you have a few you would like to share?

What is your favorite?

Have you used any in a story?

I found this super link – take a look:

http://englishcowpath.blogspot.ca/2011/06/euphemism-treadmill-replacing-r-word.html

euphemisms

Mournful Feelings…

November 13, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Mournful – definition: feeling or showing sadness

I will share  poems by a couple classic authors today, as my grief is far too new to write anything.  Sorry.

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I Measure Every Grief I Meet by Emily Dickinson

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes – 
I wonder if It weighs like Mine – 
Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long – 
Or did it just begin – 
I could not tell the Date of Mine – 
It feels so old a pain – 

I wonder if it hurts to live – 
And if They have to try – 
And whether – could They choose between – 
It would not be – to die – 

I note that Some – gone patient long – 
At length, renew their smile –  
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil – 

I wonder if when Years have piled –  
Some Thousands – on the Harm –  
That hurt them early – such a lapse
Could give them any Balm –  

Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve – 
Enlightened to a larger Pain –  
In Contrast with the Love –  

The Grieved – are many – I am told –  
There is the various Cause –  
Death – is but one – and comes but once –  
And only nails the eyes –  

There's Grief of Want – and grief of Cold –  
A sort they call "Despair" –  
There's Banishment from native Eyes – 
In sight of Native Air –  

And though I may not guess the kind –  
Correctly – yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary –  To note the fashions – of the Cross –  
And how they're mostly worn –  
Still fascinated to presume
That Some – are like my own –

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SONNET 64 – William Shakespeare

When I have seen by Time’s fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate,
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

Two for the ‘Post’ of One…!

May 7, 2013
mandyevebarnett


As I was interviewed yesterday I left the word of the day off my post so we can look at two words today.

Rhetoric – definition: the art of using language skillfully

English: Cobbe portrait, claimed to be a portr...

English: Cobbe portrait, claimed to be a portrait of William Shakespeare done while he was alive Lëtzebuergesch: Uelegporträt vum William Shakespeare am Alter vu 46 Joer, gemoolt 1610 zu Liefzäite vum Dichter, haut am Besëtz vum Konschtrestaurator Alec Cobbe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all endeavor to be skillful with our words when writing, whether it is fiction, poetry or non-fiction. Conveying an idea or an image in as few words as possible is certainly an art. Such as, instead of using ‘the sky was pink in color as if made of candyfloss’ we can just say ‘ the sky was blush’. Our readers will have the same image with either one but the second sentence is tighter. The art of writing has changed over the decades as our world has altered from polite conversation over afternoon tea to the rushed technological conversation we now experience.  Language, I believe, has suffered as we endeavor to ‘text speak‘ in the belief it is allowing us more ‘time’. However, how much true understanding and emotion are we loosing by shortening everything into acronyms? These are open to misinterpretation not only as the actual ‘letters’ may be misunderstood as to their meaning but also without inflection of any kind the messages can convey the exact opposite response than was meant.

Obviously we can not speak like William Shakespeare all day long, although I know a few people who would love that! However, communicating with wonderful language evokes an  emotional response from whoever is listening. Will we ultimately loose verbal language to text speak and only experience proper language through the written form? I certainly hope not although there have been documented instances of the youth of today compiling exam papers purely in acronyms and worse still thinking it was perfectly acceptable. I have to count myself lucky to have a 17 year daughter who loves Shakespeare and reads excessively.

Take a look at this link:

http://skysairyou.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-georges-say-cut-the-crap-and-write-better/

CrystalBallLarge

Prescience – definition: knowledge or awareness of a thing before they exist or happen

We have all experienced déjà vu at one time or another. There are many trains of thought as to what this phenomenon actually is but to have foresight is rather a different thing all together. Maybe it is a person’s ability to gauge the emotional, physical and spiritual atmosphere around them that gives them this awareness? There are many old tales of an elder able to predict when a storm was coming as they ‘could feel it in their bones’ or they knew the sex of a baby prior to the birth. With the knowledge that the human brain is not used to its full capacity, could it be that we all have some capability of prescience?

There have been movies made, such as Foresight and Premonition, that use this phenomenon to good effect. How would it feel, though, to actually ‘see’ the future? Would you want to? As a young girl I foolishly agreed to be part of a wigi board reading in the art room of my secondary school. The metal window frames were almost impossible to open and close with a struggle as they had layers of paint on them and each window had a heavy blackout blind on it. We closed all the windows, drew the blinds and sat in a circle. There was a lot of giggling and messing about until the pointer moved! Suffice to say we all stopped laughing. One friend became very tense, then fainted. When she woke up she was absolutely convinced she has seen her father die. A very frightening experience and one I will never repeat. My friend kept waiting for her father to look as old as he had in her vision…how horrid is that? I don’t think it is beneficial to know our future – let’s enjoy the here and now.

Do you have a foresight experience you would care to share?

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