Mastering Mechanics Other Stuff

Language choices can be unsuccessful — but never wrong

I recently found a marvelous video of Stephen Fry talking about language. Here’s what the creater (Matthew Rogers) says about his video:

Using the wonderful words of acclaimed writer, actor and allround know it all (I mean that in the best of ways) Stephen Fry, I have created this kinetic typography animation. . . I loved this particular essay on language, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make my first kinetic typography.

The video is engaging. And, in six minutes, even though he refers mostly to fiction writers and is an amateur linguist, Fry nicely expresses much of what I believe about our use of language. Enjoy!

A bit of trivia — Fry and Hugh Laurie, who met as students at Cambridge, did a BBC comedy show in the 1990s called A Bit of Fry & Laurie.


  1. Fry posits a exuberant delight in language and the insistence on following conventions (e.g., distinguishing between “fewer” and “less”) as mutually exclusive. They are not.

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