"In particular I mentioned to him the linguistic phenomenon in Shakespeare which is known as "functional shift" or "word class conversion". It refers to the way that Shakespeare will often use one part of speech—a noun or an adjective, say—to serve as another, often a verb, shifting its grammatical nature with minimal alteration to its shape. Thus in "Lear" for example, Edgar comparing himself to the king: "He childed as I fathered" (nouns shifted to verbs); in "Troilus and Cressida", "Kingdomed Achilles in commotion rages" (noun converted to adjective); "Othello", "To lip a wanton in a secure couch/And to suppose her chaste!"' (noun "lip" to verb; adjective "wanton" to noun).
The effect is often electric I think, like a lightning-flash in the mind: for this is an economically compressed form of speech, as from an age when the language was at its most dynamically fluid and formatively mobile; an age in which a word could move quickly from one sense to another, in keeping with Shakespeare's lightning-fast capacity for forging metaphor."
It turns out that this technique of cross-purposing parts of speech creates a consistent observable electro-chemical reaction in the brain—specifically, a 600-millisecond delay in parietal modulation.
New research into the physiological aspects of linguistics suggest that different areas of the brain handle processing of different parts of speech—one corner of your head handles verbs, for example, while another seems to handle nouns. This 600-millisecond delay invoked by functional shift seems to have the curious effect of forcing a greater portion of your brain to become simultaneously engaged with processing that word and sentence. In other words, when Shakespeare uses a square peg for a round hole in the sentence, we focus more and take greater notice.
Anyone who aspires to become a more effective (and effecting!) writer might do well to glance at the article and consider its possible implications and applications.
And now, I must away directly....