The following comes from a talk on William Tyndale given by John Piper a couple of years ago. His thoughts struck me because I'm beginning to really love language and appreciate the beauty of it. I want the ability to make thoughts and ideas come alive by using more creative vocabulary. And it's interesting because Erasmus and many of the early Bible translators were lovers of language as well. And, as you'll read, some think that without guys like Erasmus there would be no Shakespeare.
"Erasmus wrote a book called De copia that...helped students increase their abilities to exploit the 'copious' potential of language. This was hugely influential in the early 1500s in England and was used to train students in the infinite possibilities of varied verbal expression. The aim was to keep that language from sinking down to mere jargon and worn-out slang and uncreative, unimaginative, prosaic, colorless, boring speech.
One practice lesson for students from De copia was to give 'no fewer than one hundred fifty ways of saying ‘Your letter has delighted me very much.’' The point was to force students 'to use of all the verbal muscles in order to avoid any hint of flabbiness.' It is not surprising that this is the kind of educational world that gave rise to William Shakespeare (who was born in 1564). Shakespeare is renown for his unparalleled use of copiousness in language. One critic wrote, 'Without Erasmus, no Shakespeare.'"