What a confetti that summer was, spent snipping invented words in Shakespeare. Occam's razor was at hand for painstakingly isolating those simplest inventions, the elegantly minimalist one-letter words. Hawthorne may have his scarlet letter, but Shakespeare's coinages are pure gold. The poet Geof Huth suggests that tiny expressions both surprise and justify, making ourselves
vessels of concentration, inviting us to accept the mantle of makers of meaning. Thus attending to precision, "we become whom we are asked to become" (Geof Huth, "in tininess, we
," June 22, 2009).The Shakespeare Papers
dedicated an entire issue to one-letter words
, and here's one of the pages we contributed. See our One-Letter Words: A Dictionary.