Stephen Fry on Language

There is a long debate in the philosophy of language about the relationship between thought and language. Can the former exist without the latter? Whatever the answer, it is undeniable that at least a huge part of our thought is intricately bound up with language. As such, it is extremely useful for communication (if not downright necessary), but its utility shouldn't be taken to mean that language can't also have great aesthetic value. Words, and the sounds associated with them, can and should intensify emotion, tickle us with anticipation, delight the imagination, enrage us with passion and befuddle us with bewilderment.

Of course, its 'improper' use can also drive sticklers up the wall (and I'll count myself among them, to some extent, not out of pedantry and fastidiousness but out of love for the idea that any art is best which overcomes constraints and limitations instead of simply ignoring or being unaware of them).

In any case, the following kinetic typograhy video accompanies an excerpt from a fabulous essay, written and read by Stephen Fry, exalting language while simultaneously admonishing pedants and grammar nazis.

And if you want to listen to the entire essay, and I very much would recommend it (it's even better than the excerpt above), here it is for your listening pleasure:

That was delightful, not only in terms of the stimulating ideas (some of which I disagree with quite strongly) but in the language itself, so even though I didn't miss it, I won't get into the huge LOGICAL contradiction underlying the entire essay... sorry Mr. Fry :)
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