The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0102 Friday, 15 February 2008
Date: Thursday, 14 Feb 2008 21:19:34 -0500
Subject: 19.0096 Harry, Hal, Henry
Comment: RE: SHK 19.0096 Harry, Hal, Henry
Harry Berger Jr wrote:
><quite a lot>, but failed to mention that "Harry" is simply the English
>form of the French name "Henry", and apparently derives from the English
>*pronunciation* of the latter. ("Hal" is simply a pet-form of "Harry".)
But it isn't "simply." I was Abby every day of my life until I entered
college, when a jeer from an upperclassman made me decide that Abigail
was my name. Only family and the closest of friends were allowed "Abby."
I outgrew that, too, and will now answer to anything spoken with
affection . . . but it was a major and conscious decision that was very
much part of the struggle to become an adult, accepting an adult name as
mine. Since I doubt my own uniqueness in that area, I have to interpret
Harry's abandonment of "Hal" as a specific decision related to his
assumption of the crown and adult responsibilities. It's not "simply."
It's a deliberate declaration.
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