Have your heard that today is Talk Like Shakespeare Day?
You know those goofy Internet memes, those inside jokes or a new slang word or anything-about-Susan-Boyle that spreads around the web so quickly that everyone has heard about it before the end of the day? This isn’t quite one of those — yet. But I hope it becomes one. I’m hoping it catches on because I think it can be fun (and maybe even a wee-bit educational for some people who may believe Shakespeare’s language is unapproachable).
A few years ago (1995, to be precise), while a couple of guys were playing racquetball, they started talking like pirates (or perhaps that’s a requirement of the game) and decided there needed to be an International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Naturally, they chose one of the guys’ ex-wife’s birthday, September 19. For seven years, the day was observed by, well, those two guys and a friend. In 2002, after one of them sent an email to Dave Barry, he (because no one ever sends him any good ideas) wrote about it and the rest is history, including a book deal. (Sidenote: This year, I understand there is an effort to replace the day with Talk Like a Navy SEAL Day.)
Knocking off “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” the Chicago Shakespeare Theater came up with today’s Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Why today? Today is the Bard’s 445th birthday. Or maybe it’s the birthday of his ex-wife.
As part of the day, the Chicago Shakespeare folks suggested that Twitterists “Tweet like Shakespeare” today, also. That, I believe, is a swelleth idea.
Anyway, below are some early #TLSD tweets I’ve posted on Twitter (you can follow me at the username: @r). So far — this is pre-dawn stuff — I’ve pulled direct (some with slight adaptations) Shakespearian quotes that are accidentally about Twitter.
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and today is tweet like #Shakespeare day. #TLSD http://urlzen.com/dxc
#Shakespeare on Twitter – The fool doth think he gets Twitter, but the wise man knows he gets Twitter not. (As You LIke It, V, i) #TLSD
#Shakespeare on Twitter – I say, with less than (140) characters, fame lives long. (King Richard III, Act III, i)) #TLSD
#Shakespeare on Twitter – I dare avouch it, sir: what, fifty followers. ( King Lear: II, iv) #TLSD
#Shakespeare on Twitter – To be short, what not, that’s sweet and happy? (Taming of the Shrew, V, ii) #TLSD
#Shakespeare on Twitter – Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here with ignominious words, though clerkly couch’d (King Henry VI, ii) #TLSD
To follow along, go to http://search.twitter.com and do a search for #Shakespeare or #TLSD or, perhaps, #TLS (Note for marketers encouraging people to tweet on the same topic: Announce a hashtag (#) for them to use in order for all those disparate tweets to connect with one another. I’m using #TLSD and #Shakespeare but those are just guesses.)
[P.S. Today is also my mother’s birthday. Over the recent years, she has slowly slipped into a place where she no longer remembers that date or the names of those she loves. Fortunately, however, she is still filled with humor and love. And she knows her family and friends love her dearly today and everyday.]