Ode to Words
“For me it’s a source of some upset that more Anglophones don’t enjoy language. . . . Words, it seems, belong to other people, anyone who expresses themselves with originality, delight and verbal freshness is more likely to be mocked, distrusted or disliked than welcomed. . . .
“Sadly, desperately sadly, the only people who seem to bother with language in public today bother with it in quite the wrong way. They write letters to broadcasters and newspapers in which they are rude and haughty about other people’s usage, and in which they show off their own superior ‘knowledge’ of how language should be. . . .
“The claim to be defending language for the sake of clarity almost never, ever holds water. Nor does the claim that following grammatical rules in language demonstrates clarity of thought and intelligence of mind.”
—Stephen Fry, actor, author and comedian, in Matthew Rogers’s Kinetic Typography: Language, 2010
(Thanks to alert WORDster Mary Wilbur)
View Stephen Fry’s performance below
• Editorial Comment: Offered in observance of National Banned Books Week: Say it happily, freely and with feeling.
• Yesterday’s WORD: Did you miss yesterday’s WORDs in remembrance of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, longtime publisher of the New York Times who died Friday? Click here.
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