In the News: does spelling matter?

OK, by now, many of you have probably heard of the kerfuffle taking place on the campus of USC, University of Southern Cal, regarding their new Shakespeare monument. Seems the statue spells Shakespeare without the final E.

USC's spelling of Shakespear(e)
USC’s spelling of Shakespear(e)

My Bruin brethren have been having a field day with this. But is it right?

Here’s my take…

The folks over at that other school have been defending their statue, stating that there are literally dozens of spelling variations of ol’ WIlly’s name. But does that hold water?

Yes, $¢ is correct in saying there were multiple spellings of his name.

However, Hamlet–the play they’re quoting from–appeared in three early published editions (First Quarto [the so-called “Bad” Quarto], 1603; Second Quarto [the “Good” one], 1604; and First Folio, 1623)…in each of these cases, Shakespeare was spelled correctly on the cover sheet (though the First Quarto does spell it “Shake-speare” with the dash).

Also, and I think this is more key:
In both the First Folio and the Second (good) Quarto, the line in question spells “weep” as “weepe”…with the extra E. So if they were going for “authenticity” with the E-less alternative spelling in his name, why didn’t they add the E within the quote itself? It makes no sense.

So, while, yes, there is support for what the learned scholars from South Central City College are saying, it wouldn’t apply here.

Thus, they are morons.

Go Bruins!

[I apologize to any Trojans I may have offended…but damned it was fun.]

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