This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

7th Day of Christmas: swans a-swimming: A rant.

I've been finding it hard to get angry enough about swans to have a really good rant.

Okay there was that swan used to sit on the canal tow path and hiss at me when I was a kid, but since I've got taller than a swan and learnt that they can't really break your arm with a single blow of their beak, hey, live and let live, I say.

But then I remembered the Swan of Avon and, yeah, that's really annoying. That's something that's been annoying me for decades.

The Swan of Avon, just in case you don't know, is a slightly silly nickname for William Shakespeare (Shakespeare came from Stratford upon Avon and had a very long neck*). Now, Shakespeare. Look, I'm not saying that all Shakespeare's work is of the very very highest literary quality, because some of it is more about acting well on stage than being ravishing literature. 

This is absolutely fair enough, because, let's face it, most of it is written to be acted out on stage.

But still, you know that thing that keeps coming up where people say something like, oh, the screenplay of 10 Thing I Hate About You, or of The Lion King, or Taylor Swift's song Love Storyis as good as Shakespeare?

('What did thy song bode, lady?
Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan.
And die in music.')

Well, you know something? 



File:Black swan, Coate Water, Swindon - - 986893.jpg
Photo by Brian Robert Marshall That's an Australian black swan, as it happens, but they get more or less everywhere.

Word To Use Today: swan. This word has been pretty much the same since before the Norman Conquest: but then why fix a thing if it's not broken?

*I made up the bit about the neck.

Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year to everyone, even swans and Swifts.

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