The soliloquy, possibly the most frequently quoted (and misquoted) piece of writing in the history of the English Language says almost all there is to say about Hamlet's state of mind.
So vivid is the picture it draws that no-one can possibly misunderstand his meaning.
What then is the purpose of words?
My late father who misquoted absolutely everything ever written, when gently corrected, would say. "You know what I mean, the purpose of words is to communicate, it doesn't matter how you say it as long as you're understood"
While on one level I agree with that, nothing on earth irritates me more than carelessly used words. Words used to illustrate a point, but so badly chosen that they do the opposite. Words mispronounced, used out of context or deliberately chosen (the more letters the better), to make the recipient feel inferior.
I know I've soap-boxed this before, but TV presenters, advertisers, experts on this or that subject who cannot even correctly pronounce the subject of their expertise, drive me to distraction, and if accompanied by an ugly voice or in the case of one weather presenter, a thin, high-pitched nasal whine, make me want to throw things at the screen.
My pet hate, since it it a subject which attracts me, is the mispronunciation of the word jewellery (joolery), and the misuse of the word "enormity". Used widely to describe something of giant proportions rather than something heinous.
These are just the tip of an immense iceberg guaranteed to raise my ire without even trying.
Then there are the 'accidental' funnies.
Yesterday I heard "Last winter the RAC rescued a driver every 12 minutes". Really? He must have been the worst driver in the history of the world.
Words. Mangled, muddled, murdered by the tongues of English speakers everywhere, but nowhere more than in/on TV.
Yet those same words in the hands of a loving caring practitioner of the language can move mountains, melt hearts and inspire love, admiration, affection and every other emotion when used as they were intended.
This is not to say that I deplore the use of texting, twitter, and street slang, but there is a place for everything .and just a little attention to detail in our everyday verbal dealings with other people could just possibly make a space for the beautiful English language to flourish again.