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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: February 8, 2013

Recently, in my Shakespeare class at SUNY Old Westbury with Professor Hegde, the class was given as assignment. It was “discuss whether and/or why Shakespeare should be considered a creative genius.”

It is a fact that the plots or storylines in all of Shakespeare’s plays (about 36 of them) were based on pre-existing sources, in many instances, stories by other authors, Plutarch’s lives, etc.

Shakespeare took these stories and fleshed them out. This included adding brilliant dialogue and turning the story into an interesting and historically correct play. There were no English dictionaries during his lifetime so Shakespeare coined and invented many words and phrases that are today considered integral parts of the English Llanguage.

You may be surprised at these additions to English, which had not yet been formalized. Some of his coined statements:

“Knock, Knock, Knock! Who’s there?”— Macbeth

“Neither an borrower, nor a lender be.”— Hamlet

“Parting is such sweet sorrow.”— Romeo and Juliet

“Neither rime nor reason.”— The Comedy of Errors

“To thine own self be true.”— Hamlet

“Too much of a good thing.”— As You Like It

“Wild-goose chase.”— Romeo and Juliet

“All the Worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players.”— As You Like It

Shakespeare’s vocabulary was 25,000 words; today’s college students’ vocabularies are somewhere around 5,000 words. Some more terms coined by William Shakespeare and still used today like amazement, birthplace, cold-blooded, dawn, eyeball, fashionable, generous, ill-tempered, jaded, love letter, majestic, outgrow, puppy dog, quarrelsome, rascally, schoolboy, tranquil, useful, vulnerable, well-behaved, yelping and zany.

Also: gossip, luggage, marketable, mimic, obscene, undress and submerge. More phrases: a fools paradise; foregone conclusion; sorry sight; dead as a doornail; bag and baggage; Ides of March; fairplay; good riddance; in stitches; heart’s content; tongue-tied; tower of strength; Greek to me; love is blind and vanish into thin air.

The English language today is certainly richer for the many words and phrases created by the genius of William Shakespeare.

News

Modern libraries can no longer be thought of as cavernous monuments to dusty old books — and nowhere is that more evident than at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library.

Library director Gretchen Browne recently sat down with the Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald to discuss a few of the more significant changes taking place under her watch; the biggest news, she said, was regarding funding for the library’s recently-completed renovation project.   

A Plainview attorney is being disbarred after pleading guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from clients, according to the Nassau County district attorney’s office.

Matthew Kogan, 40, repaid the full amount to victims as a result of prosecution for stealing client funds to pay off personal and professional expenses. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice recently announced that Kogan will no longer be able to practice law after stealing client funds instead of depositing the funds into his escrow account.  


Calendar

Movie: Last Vegas

Wednesday, July 23

Women Artists You Should Know

Thursday, July 31

Adult Summer Reading Club

Through Aug. 7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com