Why Shakespeare’s Contemporaries Hated Him

He made up his own words! Broke all the #@!ing rules! Of course other writers at the time thought he was crap. Mucho food for thought here, especially if you consider yourself a language purist:

n-SHAKESPEARE-WORDS-large57013 Words Invented by Shakespeare
from Huffington Post
(which should credit the writer but we can’t find it)

Like Precalculus and Newton’s laws, Shakespeare’s plays are among the most groaned-about high school topics, begetting the complaint: “When will I ever need to know about this in real life?” Turns out, pretty often. Shakespeare can be credited for the invention of thousands of words that are now an everyday part of the English language (including, but not limited to, “eyeball,” “fashionable,” and “manager.”)

In addition to his being a particularly clever wordsmith, Shakespeare’s word invention can be credited to the fact that the English language as a whole was in a major state of flux during the time that he was writing. Colonization and wars meant that English speakers were borrowing more and more words from other languages.

So before you dismiss Shakespeare as a stodgy, boring alternative to more contemporary writers, remember that you have him to thank for the following words… and around 1,700 in total!

Gloomy
Definition: Somewhat dark: not bright or sunny
Origin: “To gloom” was a verb that existed before Shakespeare converted the word into an adjective in a number of his plays.
Quote: “Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods?” – Titus Andronicus

Laughable
Definition: Bad in a way that seems foolish or silly
Origin: Derived from the verb “laugh.”
Quote: “Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.” – The Merchent of Venice

Majestic
Definition: Large and impressively beautiful
Origin: From “majesty,” which appeared in the 1300s, meaning “greatness.” “Majestical” was first used in the 1570s.
Quote: “This is a most majestic vision” – The Tempest

Lonely
Definition: Sad from being apart from other people
Origin: “Alone” was first shortened to “lone” in the 1400s.
Quote: “Believe’t not lightly – though I go alone / Like to a lonely dragon that his fen –Coriolanus

Radiance
Definition: A quality of brightness and happiness that can be seen on a person’s face
Origin: Derived from the Latin “radiantem,” meaning “beaming.”
Quote: “For by the sacred radiance of the sun” – King Lear

Hurry
Definition: Move or act with haste; rush
Origin: Likely derived from the verb “harry”
Quote: “Lives, honors, lands, and all hurry to loss.” – Henry VI Part 1

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