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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Negatives; Names; Women, Iago, Harfluer
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0466  Tuesday, 16 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Jonathan Hope <
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        Date:   Monday, 15 Mar 1999 17:08:53 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0430 Re: Double Negatives

[2]     From:   Catherine Loomis <
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        Date:   Monday, 15 Mar 1999 12:14:08 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0455 Re: Shakespeare's Names

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Monday, 15 Mar 1999 11:27:20 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0450 Re: Women on the Early Modern Stage

[4]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Monday, 15 Mar 1999 11:47:28 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0456 Assorted Responses to Past Postings

[5]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 15 Mar 1999 14:12:18 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.0454 Re: Harfleur


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <
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Date:           Monday, 15 Mar 1999 17:08:53 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 10.0430 Re: Double Negatives
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0430 Re: Double Negatives

>>Forbidding
>>double negatives because they are logically positives (the second
>>negative supposedly negating, rather than enforcing, the first) was the
>>invention of eighteenth-century grammarians like Robert Lowth.

It was certainly formulated and propagated as an explicit rule by C18th
prescriptivists, but double negation had virtually disappeared (or at
least drastically declined) from written English well before people
started commenting on it.  I have a very brief bit of speculation on
this in a forthcoming paper in a book on the history of Standard English
(due from CUP maybe next year, edited by Laura Wright).

In strict linguistic terms, double negation is still fully grammatical
in English (because speakers produce them all the time), but
unacceptable in written English.

Jonathan Hope
Middlesex University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Catherine Loomis <
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Date:           Monday, 15 Mar 1999 12:14:08 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 10.0455 Re: Shakespeare's Names
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0455 Re: Shakespeare's Names

>This proved unexpectedly interesting, not because Hambleton itself seems
>relevant - there are several Hambletons and Hambledons - but because
>Ekwall (Oxford Dictionary of Place-Names) mentions the Old English
>element 'hamel' means 'maimed' (confirmed by OED). 'Claudius' means
>'lame, crippled'. Quite a coincidence.

Unlike Hamlet himself, though, Claudius is never named in the play.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Monday, 15 Mar 1999 11:27:20 -0800
Subject: 10.0450 Re: Women on the Early Modern Stage
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0450 Re: Women on the Early Modern Stage

One reason that no one seems to have mentioned for professional theatre
companies to refuse women parts is that they'd compete with the male
actors who controlled the company.  If some 16th-century Judy Dench can
play Cleopatra, then there's no reason for an actor to boy her
greatness, and maintaining boy actors as apprentices would be pure loss.

Se

 

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