And Shakespeare Wrote “And”

Here is a quote I got from The Great Divergence. It is Willford I. King in an article for American Economic Review:

[H]ow many germs you consumed at this morning’s breakfast, or how many times per page Shakespeare used the word “and,” rest assured that the data are awaiting your examination.

Two things about this. First, he used “data” as a plural. Hooray for science! Second, Shakespeare used the word “and” a lot. You notice this if you try to memorize speeches from his plays. Sometimes it seems like it is nothing but “and.” It is used primarily to make the meter work in a line, without working too hard at it. See if it doesn’t start to annoy you now that I’ve pointed it out.

Still… Hooray for science!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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