Saturday, June 02, 2012

Eight Days A Week

Awhile back I put a question out on Twitter asking which day of the week Shakespeare mentions the most.  Bardfilm reminds me that I never posted the answer.

For simple analytical / search questions I head over to  It is here that I punched in the various days, and here's the results:

Sunday:  9 occurrences in 5 works
Monday: 7 occurrences in 5 works
Tuesday: 7 occurrences in 7 works
Wednesday: 15 occurrences in 9 works
Thursday:  15 occurrences in 3 works
Friday: 5 occurrences in 5 works
Saturday: 2 occurrences in 2 works

So Saturday is the clear loser, mentioned the least frequently across all the plays.

But the winner ... should we call it Wednesday, or Thursday?  Notice that Thursday is only mentioned in 3 plays, despite having the most mentions at 15.  This is because 12 of those mentions come in Romeo and Juliet while they plan the wedding.  Comparatively, only 3 mentions of Wednesday in R+J.

I think we can to declare Wednesday the winner.  Mentioned the most often, across the widest number of plays.


Angela said...

Assuming that Shakespeare would elide Wednesday into two syllables (as I would today), then it might bear mention that 6 days a week are trochaic. Saturday being the least used most likely has to do with the fact that it is more difficult to fit a 3-syllable word into verse than a single trochee.

kj said...

I wonder what the prose / verse breakdown is. I love Rosalind's "Fridays and Saturdays and all!"

That reminds me--did you include plurals?