Stephen Fry Stephen Fry hosts four programmes on the joys of the English language - as heard on BBC Radio 4. Current Puns Why does our language groan with the weight of puns? What exactly is a pun? And who, or what, is the Thief of Bad Gags?
Metaphor The English language is chock-full of maritime metaphors: cock up, taken aback, chip on your shoulder, and show a leg. And, with the help of a Greek removals firm, we also find the origin of the word 'metaphor'.
Quotation The uses and misuses of quotations are revealed, and there is also a frank confession from a quotation compiler, which we cannot divulge here.
Cliché Featuring sick parrots and the cliché crisis that affected the writing of Flaubert, Joyce, and Eliot, and helped shape modern language and culture.
Stephen Fry A second BBC Radio 4 series of Stephen Fry's witty and incisive programmes looking at the oddities of the English language. Includes four 30-minute Radio 4 programmes presented by Stephen Fry indulging his delight in the English language.
So Wrong It's Right - Stephen Fry examines how 'wrong' English can become right English, such as more people use the word 'wireless' in a computer context than in a radio one. With help from a lexicographer, an educationalist a Times Sub Editor and a judge, Fry examines the way usage changes language.
Speaking Proper - Stephen Fry looks at the changes in what we used to call 'elocution'.
Hello - Stephen Fry offers a 'sweetie' in the form of an investigation into the planet's most universally understood word.
The Joy of Gibberish - Stephen Fry investigates the phenomenon of gibberish - what it is, why we write and speak and sing it, and why we enjoy it so much. Words like awaopbopbaloobop awop bam bam and Bill and Ben's contemporary sounding catchphrase: blogalog.
Stephen Fry Stephen Fry explores the highways and byways of the English language in these four programmes, as heard on BBC Radio 4.
The Trial of Qwerty' The ‘Qwerty’ keyboard faces charges of conspiracy to obstruct the English language. But who was Mr. Qwerty?
He Said, She Said Do men and women really say what they mean? Also Stephen investigates sex, domination, gender, power, and sex changes (as only he can).
Accentuate the Negative We discover than ‘no’ can mean ‘yes’. And why you should never mess with Mr In Between...
Future Conditional Stephen looks to the future with some predictions. Will robots be able to read novels? How much will our computers be able to understand us? Will English rule - or change? And then there’s a question about a duck...
Stephen Fry Stephen Fry explores the highways and byways of the English language in these four programmes, as heard on BBC Radio 4. 'The Mouth’: Why is the human food processor and word processor in the same unit? Stephen Fry takes you inside ‘this hole we call cake’ - the most important part of speech. ‘Brevity’: A celebration of the miniature in English. Tim Vine on the one liner, Kelvin MacKenzie on the beauty of headlines, the lost art of telegram writing and an English haiku. Good things come in small packages. ‘Persuasion’: Lawyers, advertisers, salespeople and market traders reflect on the way language can be used to change people’s minds and behaviour. Is persuasive language capable of seduction? Peter Stringfellow has the answer. ‘Class’: Are we still ‘bovvered’ by the issue of class in the way we use language? Ian Macmillan takes a Yorkshire view of class and speech, and there’s a word he still can’t say.
Stephen Fry A fifth series from BBC Radio 4, in which Stephen Fry examines, with the help of experts, the highways and byways of the English language. In these four episodes he tells 'The Story of X': a letter holy and profane, sexy and chaste; discusses intonation, the "song" of English, and how cadence affects meaning; muses on the art and craft of conversation - and whether true conversation can happen on TV and radio - and ponders the meaning of meaning and the gap between brain and mouth that means language can never truly represent thought. In addition, he tells us why blue as a colour is a newish invention.
Stephen Fry Stephen Fry presents this intriguing programme charting the history of knowledge, how technology changes our relationship with it, and how we know what we know. Knowledge.
The Google generation thinks it doesn’t need to carry much of it around in its head any more. Much has already been written about the internet changing the way we think and learn. But is knowledge less valuable than it used to be? This absorbing programme explores the concept of ‘knowledge’, drawing on a variety of diverse sources: quiz games, psychology, education, news, trivia shows, satellite navigation and comedy. Featuring cab drivers, philosophers, memory champions and members of the Brains Trust, it looks at topics including cultural relativism, language learning and prodigious feats of memory.
Plus, it attempts to answer such questions as: what constitutes useful knowledge in an era when we can find anything very quickly?; why has 'useless knowledge' gained in currency?; and, if Typhoo put the tea in Britain, should we take the piss out of epistemology?
Packed with interviews, debates and a feast of archive clips from the past three decades, this is an enlightening and entertaining overview of the world of knowledge, both general and specific.
Hector Hugh Munro Immerse yourself in a world where the illuminating Stephen Fry reads some of the more memorable short stories of our time. A brilliant combination of reader and writer come together in these short stories available on digital download. Stephen writes "Saki remains, from a distance of a hundred years, just about the sharpest, cruellest, funniest and most elegant short story writer in our language. Hector Hugh Monro, to give him his real name, was an English writer and journalist whose life was cut short by the Great War. His stories often oppose nature and civilisation, with the more macabre elements of nature usually rising to victory. My favourite of his stories is Sredni Vashtar, as perfect a symbolic tale of the power of adolescence as is imaginable. The triumph of imagination, sexuality and life over the repressive forces of conventionality has never been more perfectly or shockingly expressed. The excellence of Tobermory, the talking cat, of The unrest Cure and the Open Window all reveal that unique blend of Wodehousian social comedy with wicked cruelty. Saki is like a perfect martini but with absinthe stirred in...heady, delicious and dangerous. Enjoy". Stephen Fry 2009.
Stephen Fry Series seven in Stephen Fry’s famously funny and engaging series about the English language. It includes four programmes, originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The series starts with illusionist Derren Brown helping Stephen decipher Magical Language; a programme about Capital Punishment (about how complex capital letters can be) as well as a celebration of Reading Aloud and a no-nonsense examination of Plain English, which ‘does what it says on the tin’ as well as telling the story of that very successful metaphor for plain EnglishGuests include Professor Stephen Pinker, Sooty, writer Philip Pullman, Professor John Mullan, and radio favourite Charlotte Green, with whom Stephen dances an immaculate tango.
Stephen Fry Presented by Stephen Fry, as heard on BBC Radio 4.
1. Rhetoric: It was once a noble oratorical art. Now, rhetoric means the misleading language of politicians and dictators. Stephen tries to restore its original meaning, with the help of three very different speeches.
2. Spelling: English spelling is famously irregular. As Stephen puts it: 'I before e except after c. Weird!' The history of spelling is strewn with attempts to simplify it. How did it get so difficult?
3. Words Without End: Have you been 'bangalored' at work? Bangalored is one of the many new words absorbed by English. Our lexicon is getting bigger and bigger. Will the growth of the language ever slow down?
4. WTF?: What the ? The F Word - its history, culture, and legality. Stephen invites Denis Norden, Kathy Burke, Graham Linehan and Geoffrey Robertson QC to ponder its power. Is its taboo on the wane? Do we still use it sexually?
Stephen Fry Is English an innately playful language? Are word games good for you? Do we divide into number and word players? And could Scrabble have been invented in any other language? In this special programme, Stephen examines many word games, and we’ll hear some familiar voices playing unfamiliar games - Sheila Dillon from 'The Food Programme' plays 'Font or Cheese' against miscellanist Ben Schott. Phill Juptitus talks about his personal word game habits, and we’ll remember the late Humphrey Lyttelton’s scurrilous account of Una Stubbs on 'I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue'. We’ll travel deep inside the mind of puzzle-setter Chris Maslanka and visit the Comedy Store in London to experience the lightning reflexes of some top word-athletes. Plus, we’ll examine an extraordinary claim - which the fashion for increasingly cryptic crosswords helped to defeat Hitler. Stephen Fry celebrates the fun side of the English language in this exclusive extended edition of a BBC Radio 4 special.