Friday, May 1, 2009

News of the Wordsmiths

Speak the speech! April 23 was "Talk Like Shakespeare Day". Did you participate? You may have participated without even knowing. Did you realize how much of modern speech came from the Bard's prolific quill? Here's a list of all the common every day words that the venerable Oxford English Dictionary attributes to Master Shakespeare. If you're speaking English, then odds are, you talk like Shakespeare every day and don't even realize it. If you participate (consciously) in the event? Did your coworkers, friends and family? Send me your stories of bardic interactions at and I'll feature the best ones here on the blog! Britain's Poetess Laureate Great Britain has named their first female poet laureate: Carol Anne Duffy. Amid all the doom & gloom and with the WHO continually elevating our status on their "Omigod We're All Gonna Die" scale, I love getting a good bit of news. The best part is that her gender is noteworthy, but not the best part of the story, this is a seriously talented poet worthy of her post. Congratulations from the far side of the pond! That Which Frightens Us Shall Make Us Rich... Well, it'll make someone rich. You knew it was coming, didn't you? At least this one came out awhile ago, not just to capitalize on the current madness (maybe past madness). Proving that there's no such thing as bad publicity, the AP reports that The Great Influenza, has skyrocketed up the charts at Amazon and elsewhere. A backlist book about the 1918 "Spanish" flu pandemic has sudden resonance with modern Americans. And why not with CNN and other news networks (not to mention blogs like this one) giving it loads of free publicity? Upcoming books about viral outbreaks are netting big returns too. If there was an Ebola outbreak (God forbid) I suppose copies of Hotzone would be flying off the shelf too. I don't write much about medical history, but it is tempting... maybe not.

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).