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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

Oyster Bay Town officials are mulling an override of the state’s 2 percent property tax cap for the second consecutive fiscal year. On Aug. 12, the town held a hearing to approve local legislation, giving the Town Council authority to pierce the cap.

However, according to Marta Kane, a spokesperson with the Town of Oyster Bay, Supervisor John Venditto and the members of the Oyster Bay Town Council are not certain if they will entertain a repeat of last year, when the board adopted a $277 million budget, increasing the tax levy by $15,964,647 — or 8.8 percent.

Members and guests of North Shore Synagogue’s Brotherhood BBQ and Erev Shabbat Service enjoyed a wonderful summer’s evening in early July with a classic BBQ and services led by Brotherhood, with help from Rabbi Jaimee Shalhevet and Cantor Rich Pilatsky.   

“This is a wonderful way to connect with other members of Brotherhood, which focuses on building camaraderie among our members, and instilling a strong sense of community away from the hectic pressures of our day-to-day lives,” said  Brotherhood co-president Jeffrey Levine.


Calendar

Blood Drive

Thursday, Aug. 28

Take A Book On Vacation

Through Aug. 30

Knitting Circle

Tuesday, Sept. 2



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