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Fry's Planet Word [DVD]
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Language is what defines humans from other species, and with our planet home to around 7,000 different languages, words have played a crucial role in our evolution. Renowned wordsmith Stephen Fry is the perfect guide for this fascinating exploration of language in all its forms: from cutting edge linguistic research to the glories of world literature.
The series travels the globe as Fry takes viewers on a journey through the thousands of years since man first mastered speech to the cyber world of today with its html, codes and texting. Revealing how language is used, abused and continues to evolve, Fry's Planet Word looks at whether we are any closer to understanding the most complex activity of the human brain.
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Top Customer Reviews
This disc consists of the 5 part series that originally aired on the BBC, comprising of the following episodes:
Babel. In this first episode, Stephen seeks to uncover the origins of human language and how and why we are the only species on the planet to have this gift. From attempts to teach chimps to speak to the so-called singing mice who have been given the human language gene, Stephen uncovers to what extent our brain is uniquely hard-wired for language.
Identity. What is it that defines us? Stephen argues that above all, it is the way we speak. Be it a national language, a regional dialect or even class variation - we interpret and define ourselves through our language. From markets in Kenya to call centers in Newcastle, Stephen charts the shifting patterns of lingua franca and the inexorable spread of Globish (Global English).
Uses and Abuses. This programme looks at the ways language is used and abused. While not everyone approves of bad language, Stephen learns that swearing plays an important part in human communication the world over. He undergoes an MRI scan and discovers the parts of the brain associated with swearing - and meets a sufferer of Tourette's and a stroke patient who swear they can't help using the f-word.
Spreading the Word. In this programme, Stephen Fry explores the written word. Writing is a great invention - making it possible to communicate across space and time. Without writing we would have no history and very little technology.Read more ›
My only criticism would be that the DVD isn't packaged very clearly: the whole five episodes are on two discs, but it isn't made clear which episodes are on which disc. The only other negative I have about Planet Word is that there isn't more of it.
Dull wold he be of soul who could pass by a sight so touching in its majesty.
Buy these DVDs and you need never be unhappy for a long time. The remedy is at hand.
Some really unusual and fascinating insights into language.
I would've given 5 but for the rather excessive amount of time given to Ulysses at the end.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A scholarly and entertaining journey through a fascinating subject, marshalled by the ever engaging Stephen Fry.A treat.Published 17 months ago by The travelling knifegrinder
An excellent history of our humankinds language. Highly reccomended!Published on 28 Aug. 2014 by macphil1uk
Excellent! Interesting and informative, enjoyable to watch and you learn something along the way.Published on 13 July 2014 by Jane J