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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: March ::
Re: Wooden O
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0535  Monday, 20 March 2000.

[1]     From:   Ed Taft <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Mar 2000 12:16:25 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Wooden O

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Mar 2000 22:37:08 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0521 Wooden O?

[3]     From:   Steve Urkowitz <
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        Date:   Sunday, 19 Mar 2000 14:38:42 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0521 Wooden O?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Mar 2000 12:16:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Wooden O

When I was little, my grandmother, who was educated through the 8th
grade in 1900, pronounced both the letter "O" and the number zero as
"nought/naught." She also called calculating "ciphering."

Perhaps more relevant, in King Lear, 2.2.65 to Oswald, "Thou whoreson
zed! Thou unnecessary letter!" [Apparently the letter "z" was pronounced
"zed" then, not only by Kent but in general.]

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Mar 2000 22:37:08 -0800
Subject: 11.0521 Wooden O?
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0521 Wooden O?

In Stratioticos somewhere Leonard Digges writes that "The cypher O
signifies not of himself".  If "0" is also "nought", then there might be
two meanings going on here.

The quotation from Stratioticos continues (quoting from memory) "but by
his place he augmenteth the dignity of every figure", which seems to tie
in with Measure for Measure and Angelo's fear about his role becoming
"the very cypher of a function".

Cheers,
Se

 

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