Mind your language
STEPHEN Fry talking about the English language is like Rafael Nadal playing tennis – a man doing what he loves and doing it brilliantly.
This episode looks at the ways language is used and abused.
While not everyone approves of ‘‘ bad’’ language, Fry ( pictured) learns swearing plays an important part in human communication all over the world.
He undergoes an MRI scan and discovers the parts of the brain associated with swearing and meets a Tourette’s sufferer and a stroke patient who swear they can’t help using the F- word.
Fry and fellow English actor Brian Blessed participate in some rather colourful experiments to examine how swearing can help relieve pain. Fry also discusses the positive and negative power of ‘‘ bad’’ words in humour and social interactions.
He also meets nurses, sailors, teenagers and rappers to discover how slang and jargon can both aid and thwart clear communication but add to the richness and texture of language.