April 23 is Talk Like Shakespeare Day in Chicago, methinks

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Tue Apr 21 01:15:18 UTC 2009

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

April 23 is Talk Like Shakespeare Day in Chicago, methinks

Mayor Richard M. Daley, Jr. has proclaimed April 23, William  
Shakespeare’s 445th birthday, Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Or should  
that read, “Mayor Richard II hath proclaimed”?

Recent ship hijackings in the Gulf of Aden suggest that this year’s  
Talk Like a Pirate Day (initially scheduled for Sept. 19) may have to  
be postponed, and the ousting of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who likes a  
good literary quote almost as much as he doth protest his innocence  
too much, has left a hole in Chicago’s political discourse which Talk  
Like Shakespeare Day may help to fill.

. . .

Mayor Daley wants Chicago’s school children to use words like prithee,  
thou, fie, and knave “to celebrate the legacy of his language.”

Although people will strut around the Loop on April 23 mouthing  
Shakespearean words like climature andlanguageless, and peppering  
their conversations with quotes from the plays, like Ay, there’s the  
rub, Et tu, Brute, and Lay on, Macduff, the problem with Talk Like  
Shakespeare Day is that nobody knows what Shakespeare actually talked  


find out more about Talk Like Shakespeare Day by reading the whole  
post at the Web of Language: http://illinois.edu/goto/weboflanguage

Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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