Shakespeare and the English language

image                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As Mary-Ellen and I have prepared talks about learning in the twenty first century we have found that today, there are five times as many words in English, than when Shakespeare wrote.

Today I toured Stratford Upon Avon, a town that is a celebration of Shakepeare. In Anne Hathaway’s 17th century house we were reminded of the richness of the English language. The tour guide pointed out a table with a loose top called a board. This was the board table where the Hathoway family ate. The only chair was for the male head of the house, the chairman’s chair and the board table. The board could be removed from the table and placed on the floor as a spare bed if needed. Hence the expression, board and lodging.

In the kitchen we saw the bread oven with an opening for the fire at the bottom. This was called the gap and there was a temporary door placed across the gap to keep the heat in as the bread cooked. This was called the stop. The stop gap or temporary solution. We have a language that is rich because of our British history.