ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Planet Word: My personal review

Updated on June 22, 2015
Planet Word
Planet Word | Source

PLANET WORD by J.P. DAVIDSON: With a foreword by STEPHEN FRY

I have to admit that when a book has a foreword by Stephen Fry, I'm immediately interested. He is one of the funniest men in Britain today, if not the funniest. And he loves words; he loves the language. This is more than evident from his own fascinating books.

FERAL CHILDREN, RHYMING SLANG AND TEXTSPEAK

All these, and many more aspects of language, are discussed in chronological order, from the very first primate grunts. As soon as I started reading this, the humour in the book was evident as I read, in the first chapter, about 'talking' animals of earlier years such as Toby the Sapient Pig and Hans the Counting Horse. I was obviously in for a good time. By the time I got to feral children, I was completely hooked.

HERE'S A CLICHÉ

I couldn't put it down.I received a copy as a Christmas gift and was totally unsociable during most of the festivities as it was hard for me to leave the book alone. I journeyed through fairy tales, sign language and pronunciations and learned about Hebrew, Globish, Yiddish, Esperanto and even Klingon. And this was just in the first 150 pages.

ACCENTS AND DIALECTS

Having a strong Yorkshire accent myself, this section fascinates me as does the fact that my own hometown is singled out as having its own 'language'. The chapter contrasts this with the 'posh' accent spoken by the Queen. Did you know that her accent has changed quite dramatically over the years? You can read about it here.

THE SEVEN WORDS

Bad language then becomes the order of the day - a book about words would be incomplete without it, after all. There are, evidently, seven words that are totally taboo. Can you guess what they are? Yes, that one. And that one too, of course. And the next one is just an extension of the first one. There is one that I wouldn't consider to be bad language at all and the others are borderline.The one I did expect to see on the list, wasn't. Interesting...

AND I WASN'T EVEN A THIRD OF THE WAY THROUGH THE BOOK

There is much more information in this volume and I can give you only the merest details, just to whet your appetite. I have read it cover-to-cover several times but it's a great book to dip into at any time. You can also amaze (or hugely annoy) your friends with the most obscure, but fascinating facts and figures.

AND I WASN'T EVEN A THIRD OF THE WAY THROUGH THE BOOK

There is much more information in this volume and I can give you only the merest details, just to whet your appetite.

I have read it cover-to-cover several times but it's a great book to dip into at any time.

You can also amaze (or hugely annoy) your friends with the most obscure, but fascinating facts and figures.

Books by Stephen Fry

If you haven't read any books by Stephen Fry you're in for a complete treat.

EXCERPTS FROM THE TV PROGRAMME ON WHICH THE BOOK WAS BASED

See videos as Stephen Fry learns about the reality behind the fairy tale writers the Brothers Grimm, talks to Chinese about they language, talks about the language of Nazi Germany, about the richness of our language and how we take its subtleties for granted, and finally how his time-traveling wish is to go back four hundred year plus and have a drink in a Thames-side tavern with William Shakespeare. Fry's love of words shines through.

FOR FUN - P.G. WODEHOUSE: JEEVES & WOOSTER


I find it fascinating that Stephen Fry played the part of Jeeves in the long-running TV series. Jeeves has been played by many actors but I doubt that any reveled in Wodehouse's language in the same way Stephen Fry so obviously did. (In fact, I suspect that Fry was the only actor to fully understand his lines when playing the part).

Stephen Fry is known to be a huge admirer of the work of P.G. Wodehouse.

See below for Wodehouse / Fry examples.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.