The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0229 Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Date: May 7, 2013 5:48:20 PM EDT
Subject: Re: SHAKSPER: Fog-Smog
Larry Weiss, responding to the idea that “Upon the foggie air . . . ” describes the pollution in vivid imagery,” remarks, “How is this? Fog and smog are entirely different phenomena. Fog is a natural phenomenon, occurring over coastal areas whenever air and water temperatures and wind speed and direction are right. The burning of fossil fuels neither produces nor inhibits fog. There would be fog over the Thames estuary even if there were no city there.”
Just so. In the fall of 1542 Cabrillo became the first European to observe the “smog” of Los Angeles, which almost never gets true fog farther inland that 14th Street in Santa Monica (as best I recall).
Of course, there is no reason that Shakespeare must be accurate in his use of “foggie” as a meteorological term. Certainly his Weird Sisters hovered through fog and filthy air.
Somebody needs to shed some light on this.