Hopkins students were befuddled Monday evening when Kaitlyn Coleman, a junior Writing Seminars major, began using iambic pentameter in everyday speech. Iambic pentameter, a type of meter often used in poetry, has five iambs, or units of one unstressed and one stressed syllable, per line. Ms. Coleman’s unusual speech impediment was first noticed by Matthew Anderson, a sophomore Neuroscience major, when he and Ms. Coleman were both waiting to use the same printer in Brody.
“I fear that I must use the printer next,” Ms. Coleman said, according to Mr. Anderson. “Ere long, my Readings class will have begun/And I, poor wretch, shall not retrieve my text/Dear sir, prithee allow it to be done.” She then curtsied and stationed herself at the nearest computer.
“It was really weird, man,” Mr. Anderson said. “It was like, Shakespeare shit.” For a moment, he appeared lost in thought. “Kind of romantic—but yeah, definitely.”
When reached for comment about the incident at her apartment, Ms. Coleman said, “I fear my guess is but as good as theirs/Why did this curse befall me, change my speech?” There was a silence, broken by Ms. Coleman’s roommate, Vivian Baxter, a junior Mol/Cell Bio major, who urged her to tell the truth.
“Okay, I’ve been to some Renaissance Faires/But how could they so swiftly meter teach?”
The next morning, however, Ms. Coleman reported herself cured. She claimed to have defeated the curious speech pattern by reading Fifty Shades of Gray. “Fifty Shades is clunky, inarticulate, and poorly written, everything Shakespeare is not,” Ms. Coleman said enthusiastically. “It worked like a charm.”