Shakespeare and the Salt Wave of the Mediterranean

By the salt wave of the Mediterranean“By the salt wave of the Mediterranean…” (Love Labour’s Lost, act 5, sc. 1)

Tips for Use.  Alternative, elegant expletive-less exclamation. Useful, for example, to the public speaker before answering an unexpected question from the audience.
Exclamations belong to the currency of language. They are emphatic sentences to express surprise, incredulity, disgust, emotion and so on. An elegant Shakespearean exclamation will demonstrate your surprise and perhaps an unobtrusive desire to stand aside from the crowd. Technically, four letter words are also exclamations, but many use them frequently as interjections, thus assuming the role of fillers – fillers belonging to the same caste as the omnipresent ‘you know? …you know?’
And here is some remarkably useless information. Exclamation is a word of Latin origin meaning ‘to call out loud’. The graphical rendition of an exclamation is, of course, the exclamation mark, constituted by a period with superimposed a bar. However, techies and especially those belonging to the UNIX crowds, call a ‘bar’ a ‘pipe’ –  leaving the uninitiated baffled, bothered and bewildered.
The exclamation mark was born in the Middle Ages. The Medieval copiers of text, to indicate the surprise (or the happiness) presumably contained in a sentence, added at its end the Latin word ‘io’ meaning ‘hurrah’. In time the ‘I’ of ‘io’ moved above the ‘o’ while the period grew (or rather shrunk) due to the shrinking of the ‘o’.
The exclamation point moved into English print around the XV century, indicating a ‘note of admiration’, as the manuals said. Therefore Shakespeare used it. In fact, to do justice to today’s quote, the complete line is, “Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterranean, a sweet touch, a quick venue of wit! snip, snap, quick and home! it rejoiceth my intellect: true wit!”

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Of course, if you acquire the book “Your Daily Shakespeare” you will not only enjoy it but you will find it very useful. The quote in this post and more than ten thousand others will lead you to find the words that perfectly strengthen your argument(s). After all Shakespeare wrote them, I simply extracted, structured and compiled them so as to make Shakespeare very “user friendly” as they say. And if you wish I will even sign the book. But this is the extent of any “sales” effort, call or solicitation.

In the play. Moth teases Armado and Armado answers in his ornate style, much like the character Osric in Hamlet

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