Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.
Polonius: What is the matter, my lord?
Hamlet: Between who?
Polonius: I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.
Hamlet: Slanders, sir: for the satirical rogue says here that old men have grey beards….
Polonius: [Aside] Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.
Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.
I’ve always thought that Hamlet sounds like a smart-ass teenager in this scene. Have you been there? You walk into the room and your kid quickly puts a book behind her back or closes the laptop. You ask her what she’s reading, and she smirks and answers airily, “Words.”
But really, Hamlet is just telling it like it is. Words are what we read and how we get most of our information. Whether spoken, written or performed, they are incredibly powerful. The right words in the right order can move mountains. When you combine them with the right images, look out!
So, words are what this blog is about. Pretty broad mandate, I know. Max and I have spent most of our lives mucking about with words, and we have lots to say about them (in words, of course!). Grammar is part of it — we both get ticked by certain common errors — but there’s soooo much more. There will be a little madness, and hopefully some method, in it.
We’d love to hear your thoughts — please don’t hesitate to comment