Shakespeare as an inventor of words

Editing_and_Proofreading Blog_320From time to time, we hear about words invented by Shakespeare. I’ve always thought this is a little odd.

Some friends of mine invented a new word a couple of years ago. They were messing around, & one of them accidentally said “interwebulator” when referring to the internet. The word has caught on, and quite a few of us now refer to looking things up on the interwebulator in our everyday conversations. In context, the made up word is so close to a more usual one that most of us don’t need to ask what it means. Only once has anyone ever said anything. He told me he didn’t think he had an interwebulator, but he adopted the word himself as soon as the penny dropped.

If I started to use a random sequence of letters, say “queadet” for the internet, it might take a while for anyone else to work out what I meant.

A playwright is trying to get the story over to the audience. In live theatre, there is no opportunity for rewinding to check what has just been said. Making up a completely new word isn’t likely to help people to understand what is going on.

Find out more about this myth here.

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About The Proof Angel

I am a freelance editor and proofreader, working with a wide range of clients from large companies to individuals. I can help you to communicate clearly by carrying out a final check, or by suggesting ideas get your message over. I also have a sideline in textiles, as The Rainbow Angel.
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