Fiat Writes A Poem And Overestimates Shakespeare's Vocabulary

Fiat UK recently cleared 30,000 fans on its Facebook page, and someone in their marketing department figured it was a good number to celebrate. But first they had to figure out a solid hook for the number 30,000.

How about the number of words in William Shakespeare's vocabulary, which Fiat tells us is about 30,000? Sounds good, but there's a problem: Shakespeare didn't know 30,000 words.


Most scholars agree that Shakespeare had a vocabulary four times larger than most educated people at the time, or about 17,600 words. Still not too shabby. Louis Marder, a self-certified (and, unfortunately, now deceased) Shakespeare nut, said that the Elizabethan playwright had an undeniable impact on the English language.

Shakespeare was so facile in employing words that he was able to use over 7,000 of them — more than occur in the whole King James version of the Bible — only once and never again.

Fiat was off by several thousand words, but at that stratospheric level of intellect, who among us groundlings is really counting anymore? Besides, they wrote us a nice little poem.

An ode to our 30,000 (and a bit) fans...
Shall we compare thee to a summer's day?
You're as fine as a vintage cabriolet
And more welcome than an early payday
We've run out of words that end with '-ay'
So there's nawt else to say but Hip Hip Hooray!


It's not a particularly good poem (and we're assuming that by 'nawt' they meant 'naught'), but it does the trick. We'll console ourselves with the fact that this isn't nearly as dumb as a Geico advertisement.

Photo credit: Fiat UK/Facebook

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