Friday, 4 November 2011

Word of the week #26

I saw a fair few movies at last week's London Film Festival, but even though I sucked up the courage to venture into Madonna's godawful W.E., one I avoided was Anonymous, which has been causing quite a stir since its recent release in the UK. It posits that Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true author of William Shakespeare's plays, building a conspiracy thriller around that idea.

While every theory claiming that Shakespeare didn't write his own play is rightly mocked as absurd, Anonymous has been a particular laughing stock for its enormous volume of historical inaccuracies, a number of which completely discredit the movie's central thesis - no matter how vehemently Sony are promoting it as concrete fact. De Vere may not be a credible candidate, but many other possible Shakespearian authors have been proposed in the past. Though none have ever been backed up by credible proof, one figure recurs frequently enough for there to be a word for people who believe he was the real genius behind the Bard.

Your word of the week is...

Noun: Someone who believes that Francis Bacon was the real writer of Shakespeare's plays. Pronounced as written (shack-oh-nee-un), although appropriately enough for a word calling into question the origin of someone's work, the word's etymology is unknown.

Example: While even Timmy recognises the absurdity of Anonymous' premise, he remains a devoted shaconian and refuses to acknowledge anyone but Bacon when writing Shakespeare essays in his English class.


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