Most writers would be delighted if something they wrote could survive 10 minutes after they shuffle off this mortal coil.

But 400 years? To use just a smattering of the literary inventions credited to William Shakespeare, such a “madcap” thought would be “laughable”, something to “arouse” either “excitement” or sheer “amazement”.

According to various reckonings by those in “academe”, the Bard of Avon introduced “countless” new words into our language – somewhere between 1,500 and a “generous” 1,700.

A “bloodstained” “blanket” in the “bedroom” of your “birthplace” might well provide “circumstantial” evidence of an “obscene”, “cold-blooded” and “premeditated” “assassination”.

After “dauntless” and “remorseless” “perusal”, however, a “jaded” or “impartial” “critic” might suggest the initial conclusion was “suspicious” or “flawed”, and that the apparent “savagery” was merely the unfortunate result of a “scuffle”.

Whew! So far, we’ve employed only 27 of the words we wouldn’t have at our disposal without Shakespeare’s creativity.

Whatever one may have thought in one’s “flaming youth” about the man’s plays or poetry, we should “give the devil his due” and admit the “naked truth” that he was the “be all and end all” when it comes to enriching the English language.

Without him, it’s a “foregone conclusion” that our language would be more “lacklustre”, bereft of such concepts as “a wild goose chase”, “a primrose path”, “strange bedfellows”, “the mind’s eye”, or “a heart of gold.”

Hamlet might know a hawk from a handsaw, but we wouldn’t know an “elbow” from an “eyeball”.

We couldn’t “wage a pitched battle”, “break the ice”, “catch a cold”, or “breathe our last”. We’d be “in a pickle” about why we feel “heartsick” while “wearing our hearts on our sleeves”, or the fact that “true love never runs smoothly”.

If Shakespeare had never been, we might go “the live long day” without a term for “fair play”, for “disgraceful conduct”, or “too much of a good thing”. We wouldn’t understand that “every dog will have his day”, or what it means to be “eaten out of house and home”.

There would be no “towering passion” or “courtship”, no “blushing” by brides or anyone else, and nothing “fashionable” to wear.

There would be no “majestic” summits, or mountaineers to climb them. Morning would have no dawn, midday no radiance, and night no moonbeams.

On the other hand, we wouldn’t feel “lonely”, “gloomy”, “worthless”  or green-eyed with jealousy. We’d never experience discontent, even if we couldn’t say we felt tranquil, secure, or invulnerable.

Even better, we would never be subject to “remorseless” “gossip”, or have to “grovel” or “pander” “obsequiously” to anyone.

It is now almost commonplace to invent new words, to adapt them from other languages, to turn verbs into nouns and vice versa. Shakespeare did all that on a “monumental” scale, centuries before the science of linguistics was invented.

What’s more, he did it without the benefit of a single cup of tea. That most English of writers died 44 years before that most English of beverages arrived in London.

We shall not look upon his like again.