An oldie but a perennially valid goody.
Last year a dear friend sent this excellent piece:
In recognition of Shakespeare’s 445th Birthday, this Thursday, April 23, 2009, will be Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Shakespeare is a part of our everyday lives. He coined more than 1,700 words still in use in modern English and his plays influence the way we think about the world we live in. Get in on the act! We hope you will send us your own ‘Shakespeariences’ and visit TalkLikeShakespeare.org often for new content!
I urge you all hence forth to speak in verse.
Pentameter iambic would be best.
O list, gentles! Also strive to use
in thy fair speech some homage to the Bard.
Maybe you could use the word "Prithee" a few times today, or, perchance, "perchance"?
Rather than just handing over the cash when the pizza is deliveréd, you could say "Here’s thy guerdon. Go!".
If a villainous churl would make to steal thy parking spot or cut you off in traffic? Rather than the usual short epithets common to such occasions, wouldn’t it be more satisfying to shout… say… "Ha! I’ll tell thee what; Thou’rt damn’d as black–nay, nothing is so black; Thou art more deep damn’d than Prince Lucifer: There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell!"… or words to that effect.
Some rampallian staring at you at Starbucks? Macbeth wouldn’t have stood for that! No siree! Rather…. nay, Sirrah, he would not! You wouldn’t catch Macbeth saying, "Wanna take a photo?". Ho hum! Today, you can try this: "The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon! Where got’st thou that goose look?" Or are you buying that potion post-haste? A simple "Take thy face hence", sufficeth.
Hast thou in thine eager mind the ladies to impress? Be not afeared! A would be Romeo might compare his lass to a summer’s day, rather than just say "Nice sweater". If that doesn’t work… and i’ faith it will… there is always the trusty "Wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?" as a last resort. Women also really like strange words… like… like… "gorbellied" or … well, you get the drift.
Art called upon to present thy case? Give a sales pitch? Deliver that new all-or-nothing business plan? Always… always… use lots of words with a final "-éd". Never think that thou shalt be banishéd from the firm. They will gape at thy eloquence, I assure you.
Out with the boss for a power lunch? Don’t excuse yourself to use the "rest room"… how dull. Announce that you are headed for the jakes!
Yes, folks, it’s Talk Like Shakespeare Day! Have at!
And… did Shakespeare really write the plays?