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Rhyme and reason

Oxford's spoken and written English, rather than similar, was very different from Shakespeare's.

  • Oxford rhymes “was” with “case” and “face” with “glass”. Shakespeare rhymed 'face' with 'place'.
  • Oxford rhymes “shows” with “lose”. Shakespeare rhymes it with 'rose'.
  • Oxford rhymes “grief” with “strife”. Shakespeare rhymes 'grief' with 'chief and 'strife' with 'wife'.
  • In the hundreds of lines that survive, Oxford lazily rhymes words ending in ‘s’ which do not otherwise rhyme. Shakespeare never does this once in tens of thousands of lines.

Oxford's written English is at odds with the more polished written English of Elizabethan men of letters who all contrived to achieve a consistent style and consistent spelling and made frequent use of Latin quotation.

Oxford's spelling and style do provide a profile, though it is not of a man who made his living by writing.

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