Tuesday, July 1, 2014
"Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!"
Ever wonder what's going on when characters in Shakespeare simply repeat themselves? It is after all surprising when the greatest writer in the English language gets respect for lines like this:
"O do de do de do de. . . . O do de de."
"O, o, o, o!"
"O horrible, o horrible, most horrible!"
To us such constructions seem wordy, and sometimes incomprehensible. I know you're in dire straits, Tom O'Bedlam, but would not one "Do de do" have served the purpose? And my English teachers always told me, correctly, I think, that intensifiers paradoxically weakened the force of assertions, to the point that I now spend my