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Fry on Language

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Here’s Stephen Fry on language but do click the link and read the full piece. As with most things Fry, it’s well worth the time:

Language. Language, language, language. In the end it all comes down to language. I write to you today on this subject as a way of welcoming you to www.stephenfry.com 2.0 and because, well, it’s a subject worth thinking about at any time and because fewer things interest me quite so much.

There are so many questions and issues jostling, tumbling and colliding in my mind that I can barely list them.Is language the father of thought? There’s one. Somebody once said, “How can I tell you what I think until I’ve heard what I’m going to say?”Is language being degraded, is it not what it was? Is there a right way to express yourself and a wrong? Grammar, does that exist, or is it a pedantic imposition, a kind of unnatural mixture of strangulation and straightening, like pleaching, pollarding and training pear-trees against a wall? Can we translate from one tongue into another without irreparable loss? And many, many more.

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