We all know William Shakespeare as the maestro of medieval English, and we tend to picture him in our minds as a nerdy genius. Back in his day, however, he was seen as a bohemian artist with many controversies surrounding his life. Back then, we would have seen him more as a ‘cool dude’ rather than a ‘nerdy genius’.
Shakespeare wrote many plays during his time and even these days, he is known for his flair for the English language. Dr Jonathan Hope of the University of Strathclyde believes that Shakespeare left his legacy more through grammar skills rather than through the words he coined. For myself, I can’t fully appreciate Shakespearean English because of its abstract grammar, but I recognize Shakespeare’s genius and talent.
In fact, Shakespeare’s legacy was not due to his genius alone. Shakespeare lived in a time when the usage of English was flexible. This, coupled with the fact that Shakespeare was a playwright and not a scholar, allowed him a conducive environment to flourish in his art. Being a playwright meant he had artistic control and could be creative and ground-breaking with his grammar and words. Living in a time when the English language was more flexible meant that society would be more accepting of Shakespeare’s work and not write it off as ‘bad English’. Instead, it was known as ‘Shakespearean English’ with reference to his English grammar. Maybe one day we will add a version of Shakespearean English to the existing versions of American and British English that we have on Ginger’s grammar checker
Today, we no longer use the English of Shakespeare but his legacy lives on. English grammar has evolved dramatically over the years and the language is not as flexible as before. In time to come, the English language would have changed even more and the English we use today may well become ‘Shakespearean’!
But for our loyal fans and friends, you don’t have to worry about such grammar changes in the English language because at Ginger, we keep up with the times and evolve in sync with current trends. You can say we’re in vogue!
Parting is such sweet sorrow,
Paul and the Ginger Team4 Comments