More Honoured in the Breach or the Observance?
It is tempting to say that getting classical quotations right is more honoured in the breach than the observance. But if we did, we’d be guilty too. In the original, Hamlet is telling Horatio about the tradition of drinking sprees in the Danish court; he says it makes Danes look bad to other nations. So […]
Wherefore Pleaseth Archaic English?
“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low.” Are these not beautiful […]
Wasted Words: Don’t Meddle With Shakespeare
You might think that, as an editor, I would endorse a plan to rewrite Shakespeare in modern English. After all, as the advocates of this undertaking argue, Shakespeare’s language cannot be understood by contemporary audiences, and our profession is all about understanding. However, this has little to do with editing. If Shakespeare’s writing comes across […]