Re: Shakespeare? who is he anyway?
"The difference is, of course, that not knowing the things that you mention doesn't imply ignorance, whereas a lack of appreciation of the wonders of Shakespeare's language apparently does." -- Bloodbeastterror
It tells me that either you haven't had the opportunity to enjoy Shakespeare, or you have, and have decided you don't like it. Neither of these would lead me to conclude you are an ignoramus. But let me try something on you [I've changed the line breaks so it's more obvious how it reads]:
The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.
It is twice blest; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes
This means that mercy cannot be compelled: it has to be freely given and, when it is, it benefits both the recipient and the originator (it's actually a plea for a character to show mercy whilst understanding that the same cannot be demanded). The first line, however, could also be used to attack an apparently generous decision that was actually not a free choice: a shopkeeper acting as if they are doing you a favour by exchanging a faulty item, or whatever.
Now your response:
a) I understand it now, but I still don't like the archaic language, this isn't for me.
b) cool, I didn't realise Shakespeare was so great / relevant / beautifully written!
c) actually I disagree that's what it means, doesn't it mean ... ?
d) I still think it's overrated, and probably not so relevant to modern society.
e) who gives a shit? Nobody should learn this crap, they should concentrate on $SUBJECT because that stuff matters and this doesn't!
Only one of these answers would lead me to the view that the respondent was an ignoramus.