I've always wondered how Shakespeare came up with all those new words. I mean, did he just sit there writing one night and decided, "Well, I don't really like this word. I know, I could make up my own word! Genius, William, genius. Hmm, now a word... perhaps..." And so on. Did the English people know what these words meant the first time they heard them? What makes Shakespeare think he's so high and mighty that he can just up and create fourteen bajillion new words?!?!?!
Sorry, rambling, and not making much sense. But I really am interested to know some of these things.
Edit: I've tried to find out how many words Shakespeare did coin, and I've gotten answers as low as a few hundred, and as high as ten thousand. How do you think this stuff up, Shakespeare?
So was it kind of like the language eskimos speak today in Alaska. They take one combination of letters that means on thing, and another combination of letters that means another thing, and put those together, and you have a word that means something different. So, were words being created all the time; not just by Shakespeare, but by many writers of the time?
One does not need to be Shakespeare to coin new words. Language is not just a creative tool, it is rather the creator, using individual speakers as tools. Any morpheme (root or affix) has a potential of combining with all the others, producing the infinity of potential words. To become actual, they should be meaningful and usable, i.e. they need definitions and examples of usage that would show their uniqueness among the existing words.
There is a beautiful word "lovedom" that so far has been absent from "actual" English, but why not to use it in appropriate contexts?
The dictionary entry could be like this:
lovedom n [love + suffix dom; cf. kingdom, stardom] – the world of love, the totality of loving emotions and attitudes.
The King of England, Edward VIII, was that rare romantic who challenged society by trading his kingdom for lovedom.
Your heart is large enough to love many, but in all your lovedom, can you find a small corner for me?