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The simple things

It's always the simple things that turn out most complicated. I (and dermfitz) have just spent a good ten minutes trying to figure out where the apostrophes might go in Love's Labour's Lost. There seems to be huge disagreement over whether it's Labour's Lost, Labours Lost, or Labor's Lost, or Labors Lost. (I'm ignoring the last two for the moment!)

Shakespeare Online says here:

The title in its current form is taken from the Third Folio. The earlier Folios have the title "Loues Labour's Lost." There is much debate over where to place the apostrophe (if at all) in "Labour's." Some scholars think that Shakespeare intended it to mean "labour is", which would make it "Love's Labour is Lost." But others argue that there should be no apostrophe at all in "Labours" (thus making it the nominative plural). This is how the play is known in other countries - for example, in France it is called "Labours of the Love Lost" or sometimes "Sorrows of the Love Lost."

Who'da thunk it, eh?

It also tells us that "In Love's Labours Lost, Shakespeare uses the longest word in any work of English literature: HONORIFICABILITUDINITATIBUS. The word "honorificabilitudinitatibus" is the dative singular conjugation of a real medieval Latin word. Dante actually used it more than once, as did other writers of the period. A translation of it would be "the state of being able to achieve honors." "

I'm going to try and use honorificabilitudinitatibus in normal conversation soon - you have been warned!



( 3 comments — Comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC)
You'd think Shakey would know where to put an apostrophe, wouldn't you? But he didn't know where to put it in "Loues"! So he may well have got "Labour's" wrong too. Anyway, I've always heard the title as "Love's Labours Lost", so that's what it's meant to be because I'm always right.

Except when I am mistaken or have been wilfully misled.
Feb. 23rd, 2006 08:49 pm (UTC)
But can you hear apostrophes? *wonders*
Feb. 23rd, 2006 08:10 pm (UTC)
my head is hurty now

( 3 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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