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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: August ::
(An)imadversions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0472  Friday, 15 August 2008

From:       John Briggs <
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Date:       Wednesday, 13 Aug 2008 22:35:32 +0100
Subject:    (An)imadversions

I am becoming increasingly irritated (and I have probably said this before) by 
the presence in modernised texts of Shakespeare's plays of the non-existent and 
wholly invented pseudo-Shakespearean word "an" (meaning 'if'). This word was 
invented by editors to represent a no longer current sense of the word "and." 
This use of "an" had previously been banished from at least the later volumes of 
the Arden 2 series, only to return with a vengeance in the Arden 3 volumes - but 
the pass had already been sold by that arch-moderniser Stanley Wells in the 
Oxford Shakespeare. Was a coherent explanation ever given?

John Briggs

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