Monday, September 10, 2012

Lingua Franca

A painting of William Shakespeare, believed to be the only authentic image of the Bard made during his life. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty - lead image for an article found on The Guardian (English) website

William Shakespeare - as the recent movie illustrated, was he a real guy and if he was did he really write the plays and if not who did - is a source point in the history of the English language. He (or what he stood for) did more to change English into its modern form than any other person or single pointed influence. There is more to that story however, and not too distant from his time was something called "the great vowel shift" where English became more recognizable in its sound. Before that shift, English had German or Danish (Norse) sounding low class and French sounding upper class roots and many dialects that had not so much to do with each other. There are many remnants of all that still in the English language. The vowel shift is the main beginning of English as a language worthy of being the lingua franca that it is today. To think that among other things this is sourced in creative insults...

Musing On Shakespeare At The Globe

If I called you out
would you stand up and shout back
some creative jab
or just knock me down
at your foul flat fiendish feet?
I would like to think
you playful enough
to work your gnarly magic
even at this late date.
Lord knows we need mirth
as much as anything else
in these latter days.

So here goes:
You bootless beslubbering
beetle headed bladder
dripping hedge pig.

September 10, 2012 4:45 PM

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