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Stephen Fry on Language – Animated

English actor/writer/comedian Stephen Fry’s essay on language  is wonderfully animated by Matt Rogers.  Now you can watch the words AND listen to them as Stephen Fry schools you on how awesome language is and how everyone sucks at it.  Plus, it’s in a British accent. How bad can it sound?

It’s also Fry approved.  Stephen Fry tweeted and called it “wonderful” today.

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  1. Mack says:

    I feel as though my IQ just tipped upward, and I can say with confidence that it’s only 20% because of the accent.

  2. Alex says:


    To answer your question simply, yes it is a pedantic to be put off by a misnomer of such minor difference.

    In fact while the illustrious Mr.Fry should be championed for the intent of his essays, to promote sensibility over semantics, the most important point he makes in my opinion is to encourage people to express themselves no matter how limited their words or particularly ability may be.

    He makes a great point that people feel, wrongly, ashamed to articulate themselves. It doesn’t stop at words however, & one of the great cultural misconceptions of the last 200 years at least is that technically incorrect or infantile expression means you have nothing of value to say.

    For a universally understood example, look to Radiohead’s Creep. While lyrically limited, the impotence of of Yorke’s vocabulary only compounds the frustration you identify with. Remember how annoying it is when you forget the specific word you need to use in a sentence? Think of that multiplied by the entire emotional maelstrom involved with crushing on someone way out of your league. In summary; just because you can’t express everything you want to, that doesn’t mean it is any less relevant, relatable or real.

    I want to use the power of the Nerdist community for good here- rally everyone to “Challenge the Misconception”. I’m not saying we should go out trying to start fights with unwanted fetuses, rather stop & think about that one friend of yours who clearly is talented but doesn’t do anything because they think their stuff is either not good enough or won’t be appreciated by anyone. Next time you get a chance sit them down for two minutes & remind them the greatest masterpieces were typically made with no regard for results. If you want a slogan, I think “Don’t pull a Kafka” works better than “Grammar Nazis=Creative Genocide”. Both are very t-shirt-able though.

    BTW Daniel if you were being ironic then hipsters were already doing that before you, & if you’re trolling then 10/10. You got me.

  3. deb says:

    After performing like a circus animal to obtain yet another “possible” job lead, I decided to unwind with a brief peek at Nerdist before leaving the cafe…and am I glad I did; what a payoff!
    I have adored the brilliant Mr. Fry for so many years, and cannot even find the words to describe how excited I am to see this, especially here!
    And before I forget: Danny–thanks for being my first Friend on The Node!! Very cool….

  4. Matt says:

    dunno if it’s cause of the beers I had, but I felt a little woozy after watching for a while. awesome essay, of course!

  5. ChelseaIRL says:

    this is my new favoritest thing evar! 😀

  6. Daniel says:

    Was I the only one put off that he used Hades in the sense of hell? It may seem pretentious but I just feel like Tartarus seems like it would fit more.

  7. luke says:

    well done matt! this is outstanding!

  8. PandorasLunchbox says:

    Love the word “pedant”. And, of course, he’s absolutely right.

  9. Matt Rogers says:

    Hey I just have to say I listen to your podcast so its pretty cool to see that you have posted my video on your site! You can never go wrong with a bit of Stephen Fry!