Three Little Pigs

A friend of mine since grammar school and high school sent me this. Listen carefully to the language.   My friend wrote, “Think about this…Shakespeare (and his peers?) had a working vocabulary of more than 54,000 words.  The current working vocabulary of Americans is about 3,000 or much less in most cases for non-readers. About 15,000 words will give you better than 90% comprehension of  most literature, according to Wikipedia. Watch and listen to the end – therein lies the hook.”  jk

97 responses to “Three Little Pigs

  1. 54,000 words to a language is way too much. I can just imagine how hard I would be struggling in english class if we still had that today.

  2. It’s so interesting to hear that shakesperian times had a vocabulasry of 54,000 words but we only have a vocab of 3,ooo words. It really proves that less is more. During shakspears time thtey didn’t have much, they walked everywere. they read for fun, and they learned to live of nececcsites. It shoows how the more evovled the world gets the less evovled we get as a people. Its really said but, Its so true. If i only i had a vocabulary of 54,00 words I might have been able to explain my point much better then this.

  3. I wonder why our society today only has a 3,000 word vocabulary compared to Shakespearean days where they had a 54,000 word vocabulary. I like the shakespearean languange that he uses to tell the story of the three pigs. The third pig was the best part of the story because he represents Americans today which is so true. “It’s American made” best line of the story.

  4. it is crazy that he had a vocab of 54,000 words! it is sad how our society has way less than that! this was very humorous and interesting, very cool story,

  5. Katarina Ponomaroff

    It is astonishing that Shakespeare had 57,000 words in his working vocabulary and we Americans only have 3,000. That is sad news, however this mans use of humor makes it easier to accept that our vocabulary has greatly decreased. Although our vocabulary has lessened, a lot of terms we use today would not fit in with the classics so it is great that we have come up with more words for todays day in age that are extremely beneficial. Readings from Shakespeare sound odd to me, the use of vocabulary back then is so different from today.

  6. This was an awesome video! Very funny. I prefer this story than the one I grew up to. It’s amazing how Shakespeare had a vocabulary of 54,000 words when the average person nowadays only has 3,ooo!? It’s sad really. No one bothers to expand their vocabulary or really have the will to learn more languages. Instead of having actual conversations people spend too much of their time texting, face-booking, tweeting! We’re living in a #Hashtag world!! I seriously don’t even understand the whole #hashtag thing. I know I’m not that old (30 years old), but it just doesn’t make sense to me. I also work with teenagers in a group home and I hear all the new lingo that’s going around. They’re cutting words in half, etc. They don’t even care to really read anymore! I loved reading as a child, still do. I read to my daughter every night and I hope to instill the love for reading in her as well. Now that I’ve watched this video, I am definitely going to improve my language skills.

  7. Samantha R. Cimilluca

    I actually like the wording of this story a lot better than the one little kids grow up to know today. It made it a lot more interesting, but i know as a child if i heard this with the education i had, i would most likely not fully understand it.

  8. Hence forth I say to you, this was a jubilant display in which I was regaled by the jester and his telling of tales!

  9. This video was very enjoyable to watch. Quite a different take on an old story thats for sure.

    • This was a funny video. But he’s right, our vocabulary is limited. However, I will argue that there are many terms and phrases that we use that you wouldn’t necessarily find in the classics. But they are fitting for our everyday use. After all we are creating new words everyday.

  10. I love this video. It made me laugh and i really enjoyed watching it. It makes me want to learn more because I too get confused with the language of Shakespeare. Our society should have a higher vocabulary.

  11. This video is one of the mostfunny things I have seen in a while. I love all the words he uses and the context

  12. I thought this post was very interesting. I was amazed by his performance and found it both humours and informing. The fact that Shakespeare had a vocal of over 50,000 words is amazing and I am disappointed in our society, in our lack of intellect and vocal.

  13. This video makes me want to improve my language skills! The story honestly sounds so much better when used in shakespeare. I would much rather listen to people talk like that and sound educated rather then how people talk nowadays.

  14. This was so funny I loved it .

  15. If I didn’t already know the story extremely well, I would be so confused. If fairy tales were written this way, I feel like it would be reading The Scarlet Letter all over again. I am glad that we don’t talk like that anymore. It woud take four times as long to have a conversation.

  16. Well…if this video did anything it made me realize that I’m improving my vocabulary, and when the day comes that I have kids, they are getting Shakespearian 3 Little Pigs and when they get into Elementary they’re getting Charles Dickens.

  17. It’s weird to see how language has evolved over the years, and how extensive Shakespeare’s vocabulary was compared to us today. It was hilarious and entertaining to here the story of the Little Pigs told in that way and actually understand what he was saying.

  18. So, Shakespeare had 54,000 words in his working vocabulary, and we has approximately 3,000… I’m going to start expanding my vocabulary! But just by using different words, the story is so much more interesting to listen to even though I have heard this story probably a hundred times.

  19. HAHA what a fun and different take on the old short story 3 little pigs! It is always fun to hear a different version of something you heard so often as a child. The facts about Shakespeare are also interesting.

  20. This is great. I enjoy this very much. Not only is it funny, it is informative in the ways of they way he uses the worlds.

  21. Reading should be more encouraged then it is currently through the education system. Reading enhances cognitive ability and allows a individual to be more successful through their lives.

  22. I thought he was an amazing story teller. His version was quite hilarious and his speed with his words was shocking. It was a great video to watch.

  23. This video is awesome. I can’t believe this guy took all that time to translate this. Hilarious!

  24. Its crazy to even think that Shakespeare vocabulary was more than 54,000 words and now on average people vocabulary is about 3,000 words. it makes me think what were they learning that we aren’t learning today ?

  25. This is a funny video, but also shows how the vocabulary has been brought way down from past generations.

  26. I enjoyed this video because the sense of humor it portrays. It shows the different language skills between the different centuries.

  27. I absolutely love this so much I’ve had my boyfriend sit through it twice and my family once as well. It’s brilliantly spoken, entertaining, and powerful at the same time. Our vocabulary is dangerously low. I have a brother who is 9 and I have started to hear the “new lingo” which is cutting even small words in half! I’ve heard other kids do it too! For example, instead of saying “spaghetti,” my brother will say “spaget” or instead of “milk,” he honestly just says “mil.” It’s my goal and duty as an older sister to break this habit.

  28. It is so true about how the majority of our society would not understand the Shakespearean version of The Three Little Pigs and this comedian does an excellent job of recreating it. The language Shakespeare used is extremely different from the slang we use today and I think that is why this stand-up act is so hilarious! The comedian himself has a difficult time staying in character because his version of the story is so ridiculous and outlandish. Job well done!

  29. This video that we watched in class was extremely funny and seemed very well thought out. In order to take an exisiting story and twist it into a comedic story which takes place in a differect time period is very funny. The comedian was very good and put his very desciptive words together very well.

  30. It’s a shame that the importance of vocabulary has faded. To be honest, if I didn’t know the story beforehand, I would probably have a little difficulty understanding the storyline.

  31. This video was very entertaining to watch. Stories are much more exciting with enhanced vocabulary. It’s amazing to see how our vocabulary has decreased so drastically over time. John Branyan did a good job on comparing Shakespearian language to todays while still being funny.

  32. This Video is so true. We as people do not talk like old English any more. Are vocabulary consists of the easiest worlds. I think humanity has gotten to lazy to care and to used to texting and being on cell phone! Oh old English what would Shakespearean if he was in 2013!

  33. Shakesperarian language is an art this has died out. Many today have no idea to what he is saying. I have watched this video and I realized that it would be a skill that must be practiced with reputition.

  34. I love this post about the three little pigs. I love the irony and the humor in this video it was entertaining and fun to watch.

  35. This video is true. Looking back on time, writers and composers were alot more complex in their work. When he talks like Shakespeare and then transforms to how Americans talk now, it is a big difference in the vocabuary he uses and the context of what he is saying.

  36. This video made me realize that society’s vocabulary today truly is behind from that of the past. We all use slang and our vocabulary is extremely limited. This video gets the point across how generation after generation is slowly losing the importance of a good education.

  37. I believe I fall into the category of a vocabulary of about 3,000 words. The education has changed for the past generations. Hearing professor Kollitz talk about her childhood, how much she read, makes me think about the amount of books I have read. I don’t think I have read half of what she read when she was a little girl. Obviously we are in college so we all read more. I wish I had read more in my K-12 to have a bigger vocabulary. Maybe with more reading I will be able to tell the story of the three little pigs in Shakespear’s language.

    • This video was very interesting in the way this man was able to translate persay the story. I was amazed by how many people could not understand his large vocabulary. Like Ms. Kollitz said our vocabulary today has spiraled downward since centuries ago. Reading is my favorite thing to do so it was not hard for me to grasp the crazy Shakespearean language although I was amazed that I did. Because today our reading knowledge is not challenged enough in school sometimes not even in AP and Honors classes so we must learn ourselves.

  38. I did not understand the shakespeare version of The Three Little Pigs sadly but I did find this video very funny. To me it seems like Shakespeare can take something so simple and with the vocabulary he had he could change it into a more sophisticated writing!

  39. This video was absolutely brilliant in both comedic style and broad usage of vocabulary. It was pretty easy to understand because I know the old fairy tale very well, however I am unsure if it had been another story that I was unfamiliar with if I would have been able to understand the whole thing. In general, I enjoyed this version way more than the original version I grew up with because this one makes you think a little bit harder about the meaning of some of his words. It is sad that this great country has fallen so far as standards go in literacy and vocabulary capacity alike.

  40. This video makes me both sad and proud. I’m proud that I was able to understand the story, and sad that this version was never told to me when I was a child. The reason for our vocabulary reduction is partially due to our advances in technology so early. The need to do everything faster and get to the point has overshadowed our need for engaging, thought provoking storytelling and words; a trade from language to numbers. Numbers are important, but language and reading has its place too. I’m glad my parents encouraged me to experience as much education as possible, from reading to mathematics. I just hope the next generation is as lucky I am.

  41. This was a little difficult to follow because I’m so used to the simplistic American vocabulary, and I became lost in his waves of unfamiliar words. I thought that I spoke in a sophisticated manner, but apparently my words cannot stand as high as the old English.

  42. This is brilliant. The English language has been simplified so much since the time of Shakespeare. I wish i had a working vocabulary like Shakespeare did. Unfortunately instead of our language growing it is diminishing. Soon we will be talking in “text” talk.

  43. This is slightly amusing but Shakespeare of any kind never fails to make me lay thy head upon a pillow.

  44. Made in America he said, that really made me laugh how simple it was with just a few word. We truly have lost many words in the past century’s not to mention its only getting worse with our technology of this decade. It will soon be hard to understand this paragraph that I am typing if we continue to type as if we are texting on out phones like: u as you, lol as laughing out loud, jk as just kidding brb, or a short way of r u serious. We are getting lazy everyday when will we stop?

  45. The more I think about how many words have been lost the more I think about George Orwell’s 1984. It’s scary that some things he mentioned in his book have come true. Although he could have know about the loss of vocabulary back in 1948. I think a big reason we are losing words is due to “text language,” it takes away a persons ability to critically think.

  46. This too funny I could totally see this being told like this in the past. How could one undersand this talk it is giberish. Still shakespear did have a way with words that touched our hearts. The way this man told the three little pigs is to much and how he portrayed the third little pig was the best part of it

    • Bravo Kellie! You are on your way to becoming a scholar. Now you understand how our educational system has cheated you. You got the point, though you missed some of the vocabulary. If you read more, you will learn the vocabulary as used properly.

  47. I have thought about this before, when my family and I went bible shopping. I preferred to read the King James Translation, because I found the words used and the arrangement to carry a deeper meaning. It is odd to think of the drastic number of words we have lost, and the average person doesn’t even realize their existance.

    • Bravo David! I grew up reading the King James Bible, like the first immigrants to America who mostly left Europe because they disagreed with European government control of free thinking, especially those who were the followers of Luther and Calvin and the only book in their house to teach their children to read was the language of Shakespeare, which combined the barious vocabularies of the various separate languages to create an extensive vocabulary that included Germanic, Celtic, and Latin based languages. King James was a Catholic and committed to the Pope of Rome (Catholic) who viewed the world differently. When the “Declaration of Independence” was signed, the signers agreed to disagree agreed to disagree. When the Constitution of the United States was approved, the members added the first amendment, which guaranteed the Federal Government had as it;s first responsibility to protect the rights of the “States.” If the individual did not believe in the laws of the “State,” they could move to another state that took a different position. Hence, the “Federalist Papers” written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison were distributed to the people in the 13 original colonies. Though the people in the northeastern states were against slavery, and the southern states were for keeping slavery, the constitution was ratified in 1789. This started the movement for abolition of slavery. Abraham Lincoln said in this Gettysburg address “Four score an seven years ago (87 years) our forefathers set forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

  48. this too awkward , I couldn’t understand him at all I sorry I hearing imperial

  49. These days Americans are the laziess people around. Throught the years the english language has changed so much because of the change in culture. Examples would be the music industy, cartoons, and etc., these affect how people speak because people are followers. They tend to want to be like all the famous people.

    • I hope you are not correct. I keep having hope for American students. However, when one does not have a working vocabulary of at least 12,000 to 15,000 words, that person will probably not make it through college. That is why people are in this class–to wake up!!!! Jan Kollitz

  50. Diana may not hear, but she has developed other senses to overcome this. Notice her profound comments about “Caine’s Arcade.” She is very observant. I’m certain that most of you will be amazed at how advanced the vocabulary of Englishmen was in the 16th century.

    ” Unfortunately! Most of the words I do not receive into my ears because I am deaf. Also, my sign language are in the vocabulary are very limited. A lot of deaf people are not to use the big words as hearing people’s use the words. The deaf people are not the same as education to hearing people. The Shakespearean literatures are not the same what hearing people to learn that deaf people are learning about deaf in the history I believe that hearing people not to hear about deaf famous in the history don’t be surprise that. Disadvantage of that hearing people a lot of words to receive into their ears and it self-build up the words to know the words all times. Not for the deaf it is sad! But there is other things that advantage deaf people are benefits that hearing people don’t know” Diana Sanchez

  51. That was very clever! It was a very interesting take on that story.

  52. Wow its really sad too see how far we have become. We started off with so may words and decreased the number of words. I personally think shakespear is really difficult to understand but if we had kept the language im sure things would be so different now in days.

  53. It’s amazing the power words have. Even though this is same language, it almost seems foreign. I wish I could say I understand all of these words to their fullest meaning, but sadly, I can’t.

  54. We have gotten less informed about the vocabulary in our language. Unless we grew up reading many books on our own or taken higher learning classes, we are extremely behind on what we should have already learned. It still shocks me that some of the classic books we are required to read in high school or in college were required at the younger grades back in the day. It motivates me to read as much as I can, with a dictionary right next to me to look up the meaning of the words, especially for Shakespearean literature.

  55. I was surprisingly able to understand most of what he said and it was rather enjoyable to listen to him and examine the placement and selection of words he chose. Still there were some words I had never heard before. This makes me think what our language will sound like in another 300 years.

  56. I can’t understand anything from what he is saying. I always prefer simple and easy vocabulary.. But I need to be able to read more literature to understand American culture. This video motivates me to learn english harder.

  57. it is fascinating how our language has evolved, or simplified. This version of the three little pigs is very witty and relates to the truth that is spoken today. I think the reason our vocabulary is smaller than that of Shakespeares because we have to communicate with many people around the world and it is easier to speak simple so it is easier to be understood.

  58. Its crazy to think about how the english language has changed drastically over the years. We may be smarter than the people of that time but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the we talk.

  59. I never liked old literature Shakespeare probably because i did not understand it because of its complex language. That is crazy how much larger Shakespeare’s vocabulary was compared to today’s average population. Today there are a lot of slang words that have many different meanings and is kind of like a language by itself because only certain people understand what is being said. I do not think people’s vocabulary has decreased that much because they did not count all the slang used today.

  60. This is crazy I remember I hated reading about Shakespeare in High School!

  61. I thought that this was great, and the statistic on Shakespeare’s vocabulary is incredible! Sometimes I wish we still spoke like Shakespeare. I can’t even imagine how different we would all be. It kind of makes me sad that learning Shakespeare has fallen to the wayside.

  62. Ahhh, very clever. Language is an evolving function of Americans. Much to the same way Quincy Troupe spoke about poetry and how it reflects the time in which it was written. It is only beneficial to the point of supporting the communication of those that speak it and listen. It is more nostalgia for one to speak in that manner and can lend itself to a certain dialogue. Even today with message boards and social media taking the front, the English language has taken a more condense fashion, to simply prove a point and be unique. Just like Americans, I believe, we are more to the point.

  63. This was quite incredible to hear! The way he told the story sound just like how Shakespeare would have written it. It was also incredible to hear about the vocabulary difference. 54,000 word!? that is absolutely insane!

  64. The vocabulary is definitly diffrent!! It amazes me on how much times change! instead of learning new words we learn acronyms for texting which is definitly useless!

  65. 54,000 words?! That’s amazing! Its also pretty ridiculous how much we have know. I remember hating it when we read Shakespeare out loud in high school. It would take forever because more than half of us couldn’t not comprehend the vocabulary.

  66. My jaw dropped when I read that Shakespeare had a vocabulary of about 54,000 words, and today it normal to have a vocabulary of about 3,000 words. Shows how much things have changed. If the 3 little pigs was told like this today, I’m sure so many people would not understand what the 3 little pigs even are! It was funny how he told the story though.

  67. Wow, it is crazy to believe how times have changed since the time of Shakespeare. This video was funny and interesting all at the same time.

  68. This video is hilarious and had me laughing throught! beyond the humor, i found the statistics pretty incredible and jaw dropping.

  69. OH how the times of language have changed. If this is the only way people know to tell the story of the 3 little pigs, I believe, sadly, that it would be hardly known of. Many people of our century probably would’t understand this story if it wasnt for they way we have heard it for the past 20 years of our lives.

  70. It is unbelieveable to see how far vocabulary has evolved. Shakespeare had such a descriptive language and an on going vocabulary. Now a days we try to use the simplest form of words to get our message across as quick as possible and without advance vocabulary. It’s sad in a way to see how our language is simplifying.

  71. Wow! I am completely amazed of how our vocabulary has depleted drastically. I now see how our past is affecting our future. For many classes now we have been discussing how k-12 schools have not provided proper education. I now see how this has been holding us back from succeeding and expanding our knowledge.

  72. This video is GREAT! I tried so hard not to laugh out loud only because I am in the writing lab. But this was a very interesting script not only showing how our vocabulary really did shorten by ALOT but honestly I only think I understood what he was talking about is because I already know the story of the Three Little Pigs. If I didnt, I probably wouldnt have found this as funny.

  73. it is amazing to realize how much the american vocabulary has shrunk to a mearly 3,000 word vocabularly and in order to understand Shakespere most people rely on a dictionary or sparknotes to understand his language. Shakespere is one of my favorite writers his language is almos a form of art.

  74. It is beyond me… Learning about the “dumbing down of America” has really got me upset. I would want my children getting a full education for the amount we have to pay for an education. Not only that, but how is America supposed to build itself upon a nation of “idiots” so to speak?

  75. I remember when I first read Shakespeare. It was as if my eyes were being treated to a delicious dessert. The way that he made stories come to life with the language that I wished most people would speak with. I once wished I could write a play like Shakespeare, but alas, I do not have that gift and knowledge of the english language that he harbored. The way that Shakespeare wrote just made me want to read more and try to harbor soem of that intellect that he has used to enchant us with even to this day.

  76. I just think no one really cares about vocabulary lol It’s really true. As long as you can speak and people understand, I think everyone will be happy about it. I think Shakespear is crazy and hard to understand. I hate reading his books because it’s just so hard to understand, in my opinion lol

  77. Crazy to see how Shakespeare vocabulary was more than 54,000 words and now Americans is about 3,000 or even less. I would have never thought back in Shakespeare time people were smarter than us.

  78. It is amazing how much the english language has truly evolved throughout the years. And it is sad that the average vocabulary for a person has gone from 54,000 to 5,000!

  79. I’m not gonna lie, I really enjoyed this hahah. It’s sad to realize how much our vocabulary shrunk throughout the years. I mean 54,000?!?!?I still can’t believe he knew all those words!I’m really impressed!

  80. Wow, its amazing to me how bad things have gotten since Shakespeare’s time. The statistic was pretty shocking as well; Though, i think grade school might be one of the reasons of why the average american only has 3,000 word vocabulary. For quiet a long time now, grade school has been a joke, people usually go there do nothing but have a good time with their friends.

  81. I caught myself with my mouth a little open and laughing as well. It is surprising to see how little vocabulary we use from how much we actually have. This version of The Three Little Pigs makes me want to start reading a dictionary and learning more words and be able to at least sound more intelligent. No wonder I never understood Shakespeare in high school when I most likely only knew 1,500 words if that.

  82. Wow this is amazing how our society has gotten so lazy. This is at fault of teacher for not inspiring us to have learned more words and read more. Now that I look back in grade school I have not learn anything unlike I should have. School was just a joke to me and I never took anything serious as I do now in college.

  83. This video had me laughing out loud a few times, but I don’t think that back in that time they were smarter than us, I just think we don’t focus on vocabulary and english no days in school as much as we should. That is a pretty amazing statistic though that the average American only has a vocabulary of 3,000 while Shakespeare had 54,000. This makes me want to learn a new word everyday and actually try and apply in conversation I have with my piers.

  84. If someone was to read this version of the Three little pigs, they would give up on the second sentence, and am not talking just about kids but teenagers and adults as well. It seems like now a days it doesn’t matter what your age is because no one knows anything or at least only 3,000 words which basically is almost nothing compared to Shakespeare and others and it makes everyone similar and dumb.

  85. When I look at this, I’m not surprised at all because even until this day, my little sister, being a freshman in high school, has very bad grammar, and when I help her fix her mistakes, she acts as if she was just taught something new. Grade schools these days don’t teach the grammar as much as they did back when I was in grade school.

  86. We have gotten less informed about the vocabulary in our language. Unless we grew up reading many books on our own or taken higher learning classes, we are extremely behind. It still shocks me that some of the classic books we are required to read in high school or in college were required at the younger grades back in the day. It motivates me to read as much as I can, with a dictionary right next to me to look up the meaning of the words, especially for Shakespearean literature.

  87. Very good, I laughed and did not hear one swearword. I will keep an ear out for this comedian; he is sharp with a quick wit, and the ability to make you laugh at yourself without insulting anyone’s intelligence. The statistics are not surprising, considering that during that time and up until the invention of the; telegraph, telephone and television, the written word was both education and entertainment. Similarly, cellular phones concern me; I have seen where they have replaced most interaction between people. Necessary interaction skills are not being developed which are needed to navigate life, and in the development of; social, political, emotional, and psychological well-being.

  88. It is rather shocking that the English language has shrunk so drastically in modern times. However it is very belivable when you hear most people speak. I think there was more of an emphasis on language in Shakespeares time because it showed status. The more intelligent and well spoken one was the more respected they would be. American’s in particular i belive have lost the will to evolve their language capabilities. If you travel to Europe most people speak more than one language and often times tend to speak five or six different languages.

  89. The statistics are surprising, I cannot believe that shakespear, for example, had a vocabulary span of 54,000 words. While in modern American days, we only have about 3,000 words in our vocabulary. That is somewhat depressing. But this video was very interesting, i loved this outlook on the three little pigs

  90. I like this take on the three little pigs. While incorporating jokes, the comedian tells a lot of truth. The fact the Shakespeare had a vocabulary of 54,000 words while the average American today has a vocabulary of 3,000 words is no surprise. He says “If i could have been born in the 1700’s, children had a bigger vocabulary than i had”. This statement might be true when comparing todays youth to youth hundreds of years ago. Even after all the years “learning” in school, we are still not even close to what they did hundreds of years ago.

  91. The most striking feature of Shakespeare is his command of language. It is all the more astounding when one not only considers Shakespeare’s sparse formal education but the curriculum of the day. Even though in this day and age there are some anomalies with prepositional usage and verb agreement linked to Shakespearean time, it is evident that a number of Shakespeare’s words have shifted meanings or dropped, with age, from the present vocabulary. In addition, word order, as the language shifted from Middle to Early Modern English, was made a bit more flexible. As Shakespeare wrote dramatic poetry, not standard prose, there was room for greater license in expression. — And to think, in the olden days dictionaries were nonexistent. Today, there are an abundance of dictionaries dedicated to the language of Shakespeare!

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