November 13, 2008

To the Manner Born

Believe or not, this isn't a politically themed post but a diversion into language and the difference between reading it and hearing it.

This is a phrase uttered by Hamlet and referenced innumerable times. When taken aurally (another pun, but I digress), it could also be "To the Manor Born", a British sitcom, as well as another phrase referenced innumerable times. I wasn't the only one who mistook the latter for the former as the predominant intended meaning for quite some time, although I now always tend to think of the former rather than the latter, as my appreciation of and infatuation with Shakespeare increases with age.

Of course, were this to be a politically themed post, I might also riff further on "To the Man O'erborn," but I though better of it, mostly because I couldn't decide whether to treat with it as a Shakespean comedy or tragedy. Nontheless I wonder how the intentionalism of which Jeff Goldstein often speaks is affected, if at all, by the too easily misinterpreted meanings of homonymic words and phrases.

Posted by Charles Austin at November 13, 2008 04:42 PM