Stephen Fry on language

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38 Responses to Stephen Fry on language

  1. Habib says:

    Fry seems determined to establish himself as this century’s Noel Coward.

  2. Carpe Jugulum says:

    Sorry i lasted 1 minute and the Russian subtitles gave me a dizzy spell.

  3. Watching Stephen Fry is like visiting SfB’s blog.

    10 seconds of my life that I’ll never have again.

  4. Fry seems determined to establish himself as this century’s Noel Coward.

    Only this version of Noel Coward.

  5. calli says:

    That was ‘orrible. Lasted 15 seconds or so.

    ‘Verbal freshness’ = Deveny? 🙂

  6. Carpe Jugulum says:

    He’s a bit like Mr Logic.

  7. jumpnmcar says:

    I thought he made a good argument.
    Fuk pendants and their sanctimony.
    So their!

  8. Paul says:

    He’s a bit like Mr Logic.

    Mr Logic is hilarious, but I’m all for the Fat Slags and Buster Gonad.

  9. calli says:

    I thought he made a good argument

    I defer to your wisdom, Jump. This time I’ll watch with my eyes closed.

  10. Toiling Mass says:

    Biffa Bacon, for me.

  11. Ed says:

    I’ve seen this before and liked it.

    Pu any political differences you might have with Fry aside for a moment and admit that this is pretty good.

  12. jumpnmcar says:


    I defer to your wisdom, Jump

    I do believe you’re the first person in history to type those words in that order.
    Perhaps a correction followed by ” fucking iPad ! ” 🙂

  13. calli says:

    Jump, been married 38 years this March…need I say more?

    And on building news, just won the first job of 2014 (lots of stuff to go on with, but it’s always the sweetest contract to get).

  14. Cato the Elder says:

    Fry is a pompous leftie git. Yet, on this occasion, he is right. Language is to communicate and the pedants (including Fry, on occasion) are usually playing one-puma ship games, not genuinely trying to improve communication.

  15. Cato the Elder says:

    Fucking iPad.


  16. calli says:

    Fucking iPad.


  17. David says:

    one-puma ship games

    What are one-puma ship games? A typographic version of cat and moose?

  18. David says:

    Cato – you should stick to wax tablets and a stylus. Did the original Cato the Elder fine.

  19. Habib says:

    Felix and his Amazing Underpants, Johnny Fartpants, Millie Tant, Black Bag, where to start? A one-off stands out, Eric and his Magic Boots. He had a pair of 18 hole Doc Martens, which if he kicked someone in the nuts they’d fall over. Up there with the series of photo romances featuring Morris Smith, with NHS glasses and daffodils poking out the back of his trousers.

  20. Mr Excitement says:

    It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.

    Stephen Fry

  21. Carpe Jugulum says:

    Of course who can forget Tasha Slapper

  22. jumpnmcar says:

    And on building news

    Sloooow just now (typical up here in Jan-Feb ) but plan coming out my arse ( great signal for the 4th qtr ) so back to it for me for the rest of the evening.
    Back on topic.
    I love how people compose a perfect comment that appears wrong and the next is ” fucking iPad ”
    The pendent in them makes them type something never seen in literature before 2010.

  23. Andre S says:

    Steven Fry point is relevant despite his lefty inclinations, heterodox language in particular protects introspective consciousness and our freedom.

  24. Papachango says:

    Put any political differences you might have with Fry aside for a moment and admit that this is pretty good.

    +1. I still find him an annoying, curmudgeonly, old git overall, but that was a superb rant!

  25. Jim Rose says:

    Steven Fry is a charming fellow who means well, does his bets, but occasionally may take himself too seriously.

  26. Papachango says:

    oh and as for Viz; I’m rather partial to the Modern Parents.

    Great pisstake of PC-hippy postmodernist leftoid tossers.

  27. rafiki says:

    Stephen Fry would I think heartily approve of Bunyipitude. Prof Bunyip’s use of language was most enjoyable, and I miss it. I do hope the old boy perks up and resumes blogging.

  28. C.L. says:

    It was quite interesting but, predictably, everyman-loathing Fry spent all of that time and effort – for this was a written essay, not an ex tempore spray – desperately differentiating himself from those awful unwashed complainers who lament the lazy disregard for basic rules. It was Fry saying, ‘I’m a romantic maestro of the word but you’re Mrs Bucket.’ It’s been my experience as a watcher of leftist culture for many years that nothing makes a leftist more livid and nasty and embarrassed than to be, so they’re quick to tell you, rounded up with the usual – which is to say, culturally conservative – suspects. ‘Oops-a-daisy, I’m on the same side of the picket as a vulgar apostrophe nazi … hand me my blunderbuss.’

  29. Deadman says:

    The Toolbox

    Whether cutting jew’ls
    wood, rugs or verse, good workers
    must know all their tools;

    languages have rules
    too—which will guide the learnèd
    as they order fools.

    A Test

    If you have a mind
    you can prove anti-pedants’

    for I have designed
    a quick test: misspell their names

    and you will soon find
    some rules are good. Try spelling
    “Stephen” with a v.

  30. C.L. says:


  31. Gab says:

    I’ve been waiting for your comment on this thread, Deadman, but had missed it until now.

    It was worth the wait.

  32. MT Isa Miner says:

    Good one, Deadman.

  33. Megan says:

    Oooooo..Deadman, I am so going to try that.

  34. Ellen of Tasmania says:

    I’ve been waiting for your comment on this thread, Deadman

    I checked out the comments just to see what Deadman would say and it was worth it.

    Language evolves, to be sure, but that doesn’t always mean improvement. As it is such a convenient form of communication, you’d think we’d care.

  35. braddles says:

    Disagree with this. If you want to be a “Lord of the Language” (and I’m not), or even a good communicator, you should sweat the small stuff too. An analogy: who wants to listen to a violinist making the the finest interpretation of Beethoven, but hitting wrong notes all over the place?

    C.L has it right: this is left/right class distinction talk.

  36. Fleeced says:

    It was Fry saying, ‘I’m a romantic maestro of the word but you’re Mrs Bucket.’

    Haha… well said.

  37. dover_beach says:

    What Braddles, CL, and Deadman wrote. Goethe said of Beethoven: Only in limitation is the master manifest. He was right.

  38. Grey Old Dufus says:

    As it is such a convenient form of communication…

    Aside from sign language, is there another form of communication I should know about?

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