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Today is the 445th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare. In honor of this occasion, today is Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Here are some semantic shifts to make your day happen in a Shakespeare way!


1. Instead of you, say thou. Instead of y’all, say thee.
2. Rhymed couplets are all the rage.
3. Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin….


4. Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads.
5. Don’t waste time saying “it,” just use the letter “t” (’tis, t’will, I’ll do’t).
6. Verse for lovers, prose for ruffians, songs for clowns.
7. When in doubt, add the letters “eth” to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth).
8. To add weight to your opinions, try starting them with methinks, mayhaps, in sooth or wherefore.
9. When wooing ladies: try comparing her to a summer’s day. If that fails, say “Get thee to a nunnery!”
10. When wooing lads: try dressing up like a man. If that fails, throw him in the Tower, banish his friends and claim the throne.

Forsooth, ’tis a pity methinks, if no one deigns to understandeth you.

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-via the Presurfer

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