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Posted Sun Mar 8th, 2009 7:51pm Post subject: facepalm
I have just listened to the latest podcast ( I'm afraid that I'm not a fan of the word podgram) and a little part of me died. While to a certain extent I agree with Mr. Fry that natural languages evolve (as do artificial ones, in their own way) I do not agree that we should 'abandon our pedantry' completely. For the majority of the podcast I felt that he was presenting a reasonably balanced opinion, but when the claptrap about words being 'free' began, I couldn't help but feel that he was missing out on the other side of the argument. Surely if we don't try to follow the rules of language, at least to some extent, we end up with chaos! I could go out tomorrow 'liberating' words left, right and centre and end up in an institution by teatime. It is for this reason that I feel that our pedantry is vital to our understanding of language, the depth of our meaning (for example, how closely we chose to adhere to convention communicates further meaning) and a little of one's understanding of one's own character.

Obviously I feel that pedantry should be kept in check, I am madly pedantic about certain things, unfazed by others and I'm sure that I'm blissfully unaware of many of the mistakes I make on a regular basis (that isn't an invitation for somebody to correct this post).

I am always interested to hear Mr. Fry's views, although I fear that through this medium he tends to get a little carried away and what begins as an interesting point can degenrate into a sermon. Therefore, to finish, I would ask Mr. Fry to perhaps tone down the 'preachiness' (I hope that was 'free' enough for you) and possibly even announce the topic of his next podcast a little in advance, so as to receive some input from the listeners and even respond explicitly to some of the more interesting ones.

P.S. I have previously refrained from posting here, in fear of the wrath of the Frylings ( has anyone else noticed the similarities in sentence structure between posts here and SF's podcast?), but I hope that people will read (skim) some of what I've written and perhaps hold back for a moment before they respond with what is, while eloquent(ish), nothing but a flame.

P.P.S. What is a face to do when Stephen Fry says 'Daddy's little wiggler'? I think one half laughed as the other grimaced!

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