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?
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'.
The uses and misuses of quotations are revealed, and there is also a frank confession from a quotation compiler, which we cannot divulge here.
Featuring sick parrots and the cliché crisis that affected the writing of Flaubert, Joyce, and Eliot, and helped shape modern language and culture.
©2008 Testbed Audio Ltd; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
book addicted librarian
I love Stephen Fry and I love etymology, so there was a good bit for me to love, here. The overall package was a little lacking, though. The basic format is to take puns, metaphors, cliches, and quotes and to discuss them as four separate subjects. The "puns" and "quotes" episodes bring up a lot of interesting points about why puns are funny and what makes a good quote, and the "metaphor" episode makes an interesting point about metaphors being a birthing ground for new language; but, on the other hand, the metaphor episode seems poorly edited (ending really abruptly) and full of conjecture and the cliche episode could have probably been cut with no significant loss. My final take is that Fry fans and linguophiles especially should check it out and most interested in playing around with language will enjoy at least one of the four episodes.
Fry's delightfully plummy voice discusses the uses and misuses of the English language in consultation with assorted experts. Many quips from Fry and many "I did not know that" moments about the origin of English expressions. You're unlikely to want to listen to this series more than once but it's a most diverting listen for a long drive.
Still completely new to this
I love the obvious joy that Mr. Fry shows in all manner of word play in the English language.
This doesn't really apply. Stephen Fry is more of a narrator rather than a performer of characters. This is factual exposition, not a story as such.
no, but I did especially enjoy the part devoted to puns
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