17 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shakespeare

6. Shakespeare could not spell very well

Shakespeare had an amazing command over the English language but not so much with the spellings. And his spellings were not marginally bad, they were awful. In one of his manuscripts, he has spelled the world “silence” as “scilens”. He goes onto spell that word in five different ways throughout the script. At one point he was known to misspell a word no one would: his own name! “Shakspere”, “Shakespere”, “Shappere” – these are all incorrect variations that he himself used.


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There is a logical explanation for this. At that time, there was only one way to look up and learn spellings; dictionary. Many people didn’t have access to dictionaries and others didn’t bothered enough to proof read their written work with a dictionary open on the side. Naturally, people of those times chose to “spell with freedom”.


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