Welcome to the website woven for wordaholics, logolepts, and verbivores. Carnivores eat meat; herbivores eat plants and vegetables; verbivores devour words. If you are heels over head (as well as head over heels) in love with words, tarry here a while to graze or, perhaps, feast on the English language. Ours is the only language in which you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can smell.

I’m pleased to report that I’ll be emceeing one of the five open-air stages at the San Diego Student Shakespeare Festival, to be held next Saturday, May 3, 1-3:30 p.m. at the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.

Sponsored by the San Diego Shakespeare Society (sandiegoshakespearesociety.org), hundreds of students will perform 10-minute scenes, sonnets, music and dance from William Shakespeare’s astonishing works. Trust me: These youngsters don’t just read Shakespeare; they become his characters.

Last year, as a vivid emblem of the Bard’s universality, the cast from Marina High School, in Moscow, was awarded second place for their performance. They will travel to San Diego for a return engagement, along with students from Maas, another Moscow high school.

In addition to chewing the scenery on one of the stages, I’ll be hanging out before and after the performances and would love to meet you at the Prado. The only admission fee is your love of, at least curiosity about, the playwright and poet of whom Ben Jonson wrote: “He was not of an age but for all time.”

In last week’s column I sang of the garden of words that William Shakespeare planted in our English language. Now add to these individual words Shakespeare’s audacity with compounds.

He bequeathed to us such now-familiar double plays as barefaced, civil tongue, cold comfort, eyesore, faint-hearted, fancy-free, foregone conclusion, father Time, foul play (and fair play), green-eyed, half-cocked, heartsick, high time, hot-blooded, itching palm, lackluster, laughing-stock, leapfrog, lie low, long-haired, love affair, ministering angel, pitched battle, primrose path, sea change, short shrift, snow-white, stony-hearted, tongue-tied, towering passion and yeoman’s service.

The striking compound that Shakespeare fashioned to describe Don Adriano de Armando in “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is an appropriate epithet for the playwright himself: “a man of fire-new words.”

Now it’s time to test your knowledge of the Bard. Each speech that follows is the opening of one of William Shakespeare’s plays. Name each play. As the Huntsman in “King Henry VI” says, “This way, my lord, for this way lies the game!” Answers repose at the end of this column.

  1. When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain?

  2. Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene . . .

  3. Who’s there?

  4. Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this Sun of York.

  5. If music be the food of love, play on.

  6. Hence! Home, you idle creatures, get you home: Is this a holiday?

As Belarius exclaims in “Cymbeline,” “The game is up!” It’s now time to consult the answers.

Please send your questions and comments about language to richard.lederer@utsandiego.com