Fry's English Delight

Damien Hall djh514 at YORK.AC.UK
Tue Aug 11 10:43:40 UTC 2009

British 'national treasure' and public intellectual Stephen Fry has just
started a new series of his radio programme about the English language,
_Fry's English Delight_. Episode 1, 'So Wrong It's Right', was broadcast
this morning and is available now on the programme's website:

I hope the programme itself is available to you poor benighted souls not in
God's Own Country. This episode deals mainly with lexical change in
progress - examples given are words like 'wireless' - and they don't fail
to mention (by name) the eggcorn as one possible mechanism of this change,
though up to now (I'm listening to it) they haven't mentioned who coined
that term or how exactly an eggcorn is defined. Something else covered in
the programme is the fact that schwa (again, mentioned by name) is the most
common vowel-sound of English and doesn't have a single, unified letter to
represent it.

The programme (and its predecessor series if you can get them) is also
worth listening to solely for Fry's wonderful delivery.


Damien Hall

University of York
Department of Language and Linguistic Science
YO10 5DD

Tel. (office) +44 (0)1904 432665
     (mobile) +44 (0)771 853 5634
Fax  +44 (0)1904 432673


The American Dialect Society -

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