Stratfordian Overreaction to Anonymous (Guest Post)

Many Shakespeare aficionados and Shakespeare scholars have expressed outrage at the recently-released Anonymous, which attempts to propose that William Shakespeare did not write the plays written by William Shakespeare. The film has initiated responses ranging from careful scholarly correction to mild annoyance to vituperative vitriol. Bardfilm’s reaction has, for the most part, been moderate, but his demands to substitute the word “Shakespeare” for “Oxford” in most instances represent the typical Stratfordian overreaction. Still, here’s Bardfilm’s list of proposed changes to ordinary English expressions in light of the claims of Oxfordians:

The comma that some style guides recommend putting after the penultimate item in a list (a.k.a. the serial comma) shall be henceforth known as the “Shakespeare Comma” instead of the “Oxford Comma.”

The Seventeenth Earl of Oxford shall be henceforth known as “The Seventeenth Earl who Failed to Write the Plays of Shakespeare.”

The genetic cross of Cotswold with Hampshire Down sheep shall be henceforth known as “Shakespeare Down Sheep” instead of “Oxford Down Sheep.”

The city of Oxford in Oxfordshire, England shall be henceforth known as the city of Shakespeare in Shakespeareshire, England.

Those wide, baggy-legged trousers shall be henceforth known as “Shakespeare Bags” instead of “Oxford Bags.”

The British automobile produced from 1913 to 1971 shall be henceforth known as the “Morris Shakespeare” instead of the “Morris Oxford.”

The shirts made from that basketweave fabric shall be henceforth known as “Pinpoint Shakespeare” instead of “Pinpoint Oxford.”

The type of shoe having shoelace eyelets beneath the vamp shall be henceforth known as “Shakespeare Shoes” instead of “Oxford Shoes.”

The magnificent, extraordinary, incomparable dictionary used to find some of the terms on this list shall henceforth be known as “The Shakespeare English Dictionary” instead of “The Oxford English Dictionary.”

A “flattened paper tube inserted between the spine of a book and its cover to strengthen the spine and allow the book to be opened flat more easily” (cf. SED) shall be henceforth known as a “Shakespeare hollow” instead of an “Oxford hollow.”

The “kind of punch containing calf’s foot jelly” shall continue to be known as “Oxford punch.”

The delicious and delighful coarse-cut marmalade originally manufactured in Shakespeareshire shall be henceforth known as “Shakespeare Marmalade” instead of “Oxford Marmalade.”

And, perhaps most importantly . . .

The place where boviform mammals cross a stream shall be henceforth known as a “shake speare” instead of an “ox ford.”

Our thanks for this guest post to kj, the author of Bardfilm. Bardfilm is a blog that comments on films, plays, and other matters related to Shakespeare.

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