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Stephen Fry on linguistic pomposity

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Probably most of us have been irritated by seeing horribly misspelt signs in shop windows, apostophes in the wrong place, even wrong words used but it doesn't incite us to write complaint letters, to get out the felt pen and correct it, to whinge about the decline of linguistic skills amongst the general population.

Language, as anyone who has tried their hands at writing will know, is constantly changing.  Ways of speaking evolve rapidly especially amongst young people whose expression of positive sentiment can include "bad", "well-bad", and "crucial", through to modern equivalents that remain a peer-group secret.  That delight in redefining language, stretching meaning, creating new associations, is exactly what keeps language alive.

Stephen Fry is well-known for his utter disrespect for pomposity and posturing and this little animation will warm the cockles of your heart if you care about language rather than the pedants who feed themselves on it.  I couldn't resist posting it if only because I want to listen to it again from time to time.

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