Text Like Shakespeare With a Predictive Text Keyboard App
To text or not to text? A new predictive keyboard app called ShakeSpeak—released in honor of the upcoming 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death on April 23—will help you send messages like the famous Bard.
In order to create ShakeSpeak, the predictive keyboard app company SwiftKey analyzed the language used throughout the Bard’s complete works. As a result, the app can predict Shakespeare’s most famous phrases as you type, so you don't need to remember an exact quote to sound ultra-literary over text. Simply begin typing “all the…” and the app will fill in “world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players,” the iconic beginning to the speech from As You Like It. Say “some are,” and it will turn it into the Twelfth Night line, “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
If you want to put a Shakespearean twist on your own words, SwiftKey has these recommendations based on its analysis of the Bard’s favorite turns of phrase:
- Get ‘thou, thee, and thy-ing’. It’s true – the ‘thou, thee, thy’ cultural stereotype is there for a reason, with these three among the top words he used the most compared to the average modern English speaker*.
- Start your sentence with ‘Ha!’ Or an ‘O!’ Or a ‘What ho!’ for an authentic Shakespearean feel.
- Be polite. ‘Sir’, ‘Madam’ and even ‘Ay my good lord’ are peppered throughout Shakespeare’s plays and all appear among the top words he used more than the average speaker.
- Prepare to be surprised. Of Shakespeare’s top 10 full sentences (defined as those words ending with a punctuation), five are exclamations – ‘Ha!’, ‘What!’, ‘How now!’, ‘Away!’ and ‘Hark!’
ShakeSpeak is available for Android. Get thee to an app store! (Sorry, iPhone users, but you’ll have to call on your own Shakespearean knowledge.)