Penguin Book

Planet Word

J. P. Davidson

'Language is my whore . . .'

What are the ten most offensive swear words - and why do we love to say them so much? Is politeness just acceptable hypocrisy? Why is slang important in the evolution of language? The answers to all this, and more, are unravelled by Stephen Fry as he travels across Planet Word meeting the tribes, toddlers, prisoners and scholars who have made language what it is today. He'll also talk to the animals, read the earliest hieroglyphs and go on a trip inside his own brain to see how he processes speech. We'll learn about the power of language and how it is used to coerce people into all sorts of activities - from miracle mascaras to the propaganda put out during the Second World War. Language can reveal so much about our identities and Stephen aims to find out how and why. From the 19th century circus star, Toby the Sapient Pig, to secret codes that changed the world, via street slang and html, Stephen takes us on a non-stop, curious, round-the-world trip across all the continents of Planet Word.

John Paul Davidson is a film and television director and producer. After completing his doctoral field work in Malaysia, he joined the BBC's Travel and Exploration Unit as their resident anthropologist and learned how to say 'action' in over fifty languages. Stephen Fry is an award-winning comedian, actor, presenter and director. He rose to fame alongside Hugh Laurie in A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. He currently hosts the popular quiz show QI. His recent memoir, The Fry Chronicles, was a number one bestseller.

Publication date
  • Language
Format TPS
234 x 153mm
David Higham Associates
David Higham Associates
David Higham Associates
David Higham Associates
Audio (Unabridged)
David Higham Associates
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