Stephen Fry hosts four programmes on the joys of the English language - as heard on BBC Radio 4, including 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?
"Good, but could have been better"
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?
This dazzling memoir promises to be a courageously frank, honest and poignant read. It will detail some of Fry's most turbulent and least-well-known years, with writing that will excite you, make you laugh uproariously, move you, inform you, and, above all, surprise you.
"A must read"
Stephen Fry explores the highways and byways of the English language in these four programmes, as heard on BBC Radio 4.
Stephen Fry's breathtakingly outrageous debut novel, by turns eccentric, shocking, brilliantly comic and achingly romantic. Adrian Healey is magnificently unprepared for the long littleness of life; unprepared too for the afternoon in Salzburg when he will witness the savage murder of a Hungarian violinist; unprepared to learn about the Mendax device; unprepared for more murders and wholly unprepared for the truth.
"English delights and so much cocks"
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,
"Folly and Fun"
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.
For Ned, 1980 seems a blissful year. Handsome, charming, popular and talented, his life is progressing smoothly, effortlessly, happily. And when he meets the lovely Portia Fendeman his personal jigsaw appears complete. But timing is everything in life, and his life is about to change for ever. Things are going to get very bad indeed for innocent young Ned. A promise made to a dying teacher and a spiteful trick played by fellow pupils will rocket Ned from cricket captain to solitary confinement, from head boy to hell.
"excellent, interesting diversion"
Stephen Fry hosts this programme on the joys of the English language - as heard on BBC Radio 4. 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'.
Series eight in Stephen Fry’s consistently amusing and interesting series about the English language, with four half-hour programmes originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The first involves John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten, talking about the problems of emotional language in "Words Fail Me" ("A cracker", said the UK newspaper The Guardian). Then what rainy small talk really means in "Talking About the Weather". "Do You Promise Not to Tell" enters the odd world of secret language.
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).
"English for native speakers- or anyone else"
Following on from his hugely successful books, Moab is My Washpot and The Fry Chronicles, comes the third chapter in Stephen Fry's life. This unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of More Fool Me is performed by Stephen Fry himself.
"And more fool me for buying it."
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?
Stephen Fry presents this intriguing programme charting the history of knowledge, how technology changes our relationship with it, and how we know what we knowKnowledge. 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?
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’.
Stephen Fry traces the evolution of the mobile phone, from hefty executive bricks that required a separate briefcase to carry the battery, to the smartphones available today. There are more mobile phones in the world than there are people on the planet. Stephen Fry talks to the backroom boys who made it all possible, and here’s how the technology succeeded in ways that the geeks had not necessarily intended.
a) A fatuous, wasted, degenerate and wholly useless existence captured in delicate, lyrical and exquisitely realised prose. b) Lightly amusing anecdotes and tender reminiscences of the great men and women encountered during a rich, varied and rewarding lifetime, fondly remembered in the tranquil evening of a career of public service. c) The autobiography of a dizzying life fuelled by the lust for power and the search for ever more degrading downward paths of repulsive sexual adventuring.
Ted Wallace is an old, sour, womanising, cantankerous, whisky-sodden beast of a failed poet and drama critic, but he has his faults too. Fired from his newspaper, months behind on his alimony payments and disgusted with a world that undervalues him, Ted seeks a few months repose and free drink at Swafford Hall, the country mansion of his old friend Lord Logan. But strange things have been going on at Swafford....
"Good story, fantastic performance"
This episode is part of a second BBC Radio 4 series of Stephen Fry's witty and incisive programmes looking at the oddities of the English language.
So Wrong It’s Right. Stephen Fry demonstrates, with the help of a Judge, a lexicographer, a computational linguist, five buffalo, and a strawberry how wrong English can become right English, by dint of usage. As heard on Radio 4 in August 2009.
Speaking Proper. It may be that elocution classes for children are being replaced with "Presentation Skills" courses for adults, but we still see effective communication as the key to success. Stephen Fry announces a field day for pedants in his investigation into what nowadays counts as speaking proper. As heard on Radio 4 in August 2009.