–on the Bard. And his words.
I love words. I took Latin high school simply because French and Spanish didn’t appeal at all. I truly enjoyed it when I realized how many words had their origin in the language. It was fascinating to see how they were transmuted through other languages and time.
While I will butcher the pronunciation of many words, I do tend to know a lot of them to butcher. My knowledge comes from books, so I didn’t hear them. And,apparently, I missed the day in school when they showed what all those little pronunciation symbols mean. I learned a lot of meanings from inferring the definition from the text, and others I asked. Just be a twelve-year-old girl and ask your dad what “phallic” means.
What was I reading at twelve that used that word, you ask? Well, I read a lot of things I wasn’t supposed to. My mom told me when I was ten that I could read Jaws when I was sixteen when I expressed interest in it.Or, more accurately, that I couldn’t read it until I was sixteen. Of course, I promptly read it two weeks later. It was my parents fault.
I failed second grade due to my reading ability. They spent that summer force feeding me books and instilled a life long passion in me. I read quickly and, often, books no one expected me to be reading.
I do believe that I was the only 8th grader to take Shakespeare’s Complete Works out of the school library.
I may not have understood all the plays, his language being a bit complicated for me. But I did like them. Especially a Midsummer’s Night Dream. Fairies, mischievous sprites and romance–what was there not to love? I am a much bigger fan of his comedies than his tragedies. But that probably has more to do with my personality than his writing.
I think I most enjoyed the words he used. As a teenager I frequently used words that were a bit old for me–or, at least, the century I was in. The history of words is fascinating; as is the way that some catch our attention and live forever while some fade quickly. For all the difficulty people have deciphering Shakespeare, it is astonishing the amount of phrases we still use.
Who hasn’t used this one??