Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

Blogging the Bookshelf header image 2

Shakespeare’s Words – “Shakespeare” – Bill Bryson

May 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Prose, Writing

Among the words first found in Shakespeare are abstemious, antipathy, critical, frugal, dwindle, extract, horrid, vast, hereditary, excellent, eventful, barefaced, assassination, lonely, leapfrog, indistinguishable, well-read, zany and countless others (including countless)… He was particularly prolific, as David Chrystal points out, when it came to attaching un- prefixes to existing words to make new words that no one had thought of before – unmask, unhand, unlock, untie, unveil and no fewer than 309 others in a similar vein. Consider how helplessly prolix the alternatives to any of these terms are and you appreciate how much punch Shakespeare gave English.

Tags: ··

No Comments so far ↓

Like gas stations in rural Texas after 10 pm, comments are closed.