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Pop Up Prose: Shakespeare Makes a Paralympic Appearance

Next week, London's cultural hotspots will be targets for Shakespearian flashmobs.

If you’re in London during the Paralympic Games and you happen to overhear a pair plotting—in Elizabethan English—to assassinate a monarch, you needn’t be alarmed.

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Intermission: Shakespeare's 'To Be or Not to Be,' With a Melody

The best way to accomplish a tough project: put it to song.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fd3_IVNJE0

In case you thought high school can't be awesome, Courtney Welbon's Advanced Placement English project provides evidence to the contrary. While reading William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Welbon was assigned to to memorize the famous "To be or not to be" sollioquy. She figured it would be easier with a melody. And a ukelele. Obviously.

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Every Student's Dream: Video CliffsNotes for Shakespeare

Get ready to be jealous: Modern CliffsNotes are now six-minute videos.

Thanks to the new film Anonymous, a new generation of students gets to wonder if Shakespeare was a fraud when they're reading one of his dozens of plays. But whatever they think about who really wrote Hamlet, they're going to fall behind on their reading at some point, or need some extra help figuring out what's happening in the story. Earlier generations turned to those black and yellow CliffsNotes study guides to catch up on the Bard, but all modern students have to do is watch a video.

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LOL, OMG, ♥, and FYI Added to Oxford English Dictionary

The internet's favorite initialisms have just been added to the "definitive record of the English language."


Teachers, get ready to weep. The latest update of the "definitive record of the English language", the Oxford English Dictionary, has some new additions that texting teenagers will be happy about. LOL, OMG, ♥, and FYI are now official initialisms—"abbreviations consisting of the initial letters of a name or expression."

Whether or not you agree with the decision to add them, what is interesting is the way the OED documents the history of words and the way our use of language changes. The dictionary says the first use of OMG comes from a personal letter from 1917. And, note their entry for

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Follow Your iPhone to Shakespeare's London

Want to visit the brothels where the most famous writer in the world got drunk? There's an app for that.

All the world may not be a stage, but with the new "Shakespeare's London" iPhone app, it can sure feel like it for a day.

Designed by former Guardian journalist Victor Keegan, the app uses the iPhone's geonavigation tool to guide Londoners and London visitors to some of the Bard's favorite former haunts. There's the Globe theater, of course, but Keegan also directs fans to more obscure, long-destroyed landmarks where modern office buildings now stand. So while you may not be able to have a pint at the Falcon Inn, the Swan theater-adjacent pub where Shakespeare almost surely drank, you can still take a picture next to the plaque that commemorates its existence.

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