Today I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite words that was coined by Shakespeare: multitudinous.
Whence is that knocking?
How is’t with me, when every noise appals me?
What hands are here? ha! they pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
Making the green one red. – Macbeth, Macbeth, Act II, Scene II
Multitudinous is really just about the most complicated way of saying “many,” but that’s what makes it so great. Sometimes, an overly flowery word is exactly what you need to spice up your writing.
Then again, sometimes it’s just what you need to make it sound ridiculous. But isn’t that half the fun?
I’ve seen a lot of people, especially bloggers, using symbols to punctuate where they should have used the correct punctuation mark. As a result, I’ve decided to put together a list of punctuation marks and what should NOT be used in their place.
The Ampersand: &. Not +.
The Dash: There are a couple of types of dash, and they aren’t interchangeable. See my post about dashes here.
Quotation marks: they are not the same thing as apostrophes (although on a regular keyboard, they’re the same key).
The asterisk: a symbol (*) used to mark a reference to an annotation or to stand for omitted matter. Should not be used for emphasis (as in “I am *really* tired of how people misuse asterisks!”)
Have you seen any unusual misuses of punctuation? Tell me about them in the comments!
Last week I told you about some common texting/instant messaging abbreviations. This week I’m going to talk about the less common ones.
You may be wondering what these have to do with grammar, and why I’m spending time telling you about texting lingo on a blog about “real” writing. Well, there are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to know these terms – especially if you’re a blogger like me.
First, it’s important to understand your audience. If you’re a blogger, you may get comments on your posts from readers who like to abbreviate things. And even if you’re not, social media is a big part of marketing these days. Chances are, if you’re any type of writer then you have to spend time marketing your work, and that involves interacting with your audience through social media, which is rife with abbreviations and millennial slang.
The better you know your audience, the more effectively you can speak to it. So without further ado, here’s my list of abbreviations. Please feel free to comment with any that I missed!
As a result of instant messaging, texting and other typed, electronic communication, there’s a huge number of abbreviations that are commonly accepted and used in a variety of online mediums. They include common phrases such as “talk to you later” (TTYL) and “by the way” (BTW), and phrases that nobody ever says out loud but are frequently used in texting such as “laughing out loud” (LOL) and “for the win” (FTW).
This is a short list of the more common abbreviations and what they mean. Next week for Slang Saturday, I’ll cover some of the more obscure ones that you might not have seen before.
A lot of abbreviations, such as ASAP (as soon as possible) and TGIF (thank goodness it’s Friday) are not new to instant messaging or texting, so I have not included them here. This list mostly includes abbreviations that have become common over the last 10 years or so.
B4 – before
BCNU – be seein’ you
BRB – be right back
F2F – face to face
G2G/GTG – got to go
GR8 – great
IC – I see
IDK – I don’t know
IMO – in my opinion
JK – just kidding
L8R – later
LMAO – laughing my a** off
LMBO – laughing my butt off
LOL – laughing out loud
MSG – message
n00b – newbie
OT – off topic
PLZ – please
ROFL/ROTFL – rolling on (the) floor laughing
SMH – shaking my head (usually expresses exasperation or disbelief at something stupid)
Because Shakespeare has influenced English so much with his writing from over 400 years ago, I felt it would be impossible to confine him to one post. So I’m going to have an ongoing series of Shakespearean Slang Saturday posts. They’ll appear on the first Saturday of each month and continue for the foreseeable future – until I run out of material, which considering Shakespeare’s volume of work, might be never.
Today I’ll tell you about a word that you probably didn’t think Shakespeare popularized, but he did: Bedazzled. While the exact etymology and origin is unknown, the word originated in the 1500s and, of course, Shakespeare used it best:
“Pardon, old father, my mistaking eyes, that have been so bedazzled with the sun that everything I look on seemeth green.” – Katherina, The Taming of the Shrew, Act IV, Scene V
This word, first used to describe bright sunlight, is now equated with rhinestones and glitter. What have we become?