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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

The Columbus Day Parade played host a to a very special group this year. The Family Residences and Essential Enterprises’ (FREE) Players Drum Corps made history as they became the first special needs drum corps to march in the New York City Columbus Day Parade.

The group marched up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 72nd Street with a red carpet performance on Fifth Avenue between 67th and 69th Streets.

Driving rain and cold temperatures could not keep Long Islanders from coming out to support the first annual DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, a fundraiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Held for the first time at Marjorie Post Park in Massapequa, dogs of all breeds and sizes came with their humans with one goal in mind; to raise funds for CCI.

Massapequa resident and event organizer Yvonne Dagger, past president and now board member, discussed the importance of the event.


Calendar

4th Annual Harvest Festival

Saturday, Oct. 25

Health and Wellness Senior Fair

Tuesday, Oct. 28

Haunted Halloween

Wednesday, Oct. 29



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