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Fry's English Delight Radio/TV Program

Fry's English Delight: The Complete Series

Stephen Fry hosts four programmes on the joys of the English language - as heard on BBC Radio 4, including Current Puns. Why does our language groan with the weight of puns? What exactly is a pun? And who, or what, is the Thief of Bad Gags?
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Publisher's Summary

Stephen Fry hosts four programmes on the joys of the English language - as heard on BBC Radio 4.

Current Puns
Why does our language groan with the weight of puns? What exactly is a pun? And who, or what, is the Thief of Bad Gags?

Metaphor
The English language is chock-full of maritime metaphors: cock up, taken aback, chip on your shoulder, and show a leg. And, with the help of a Greek removals firm, we also find the origin of the word 'metaphor'.

Quotation
The uses and misuses of quotations are revealed, and there is also a frank confession from a quotation compiler, which we cannot divulge here.

Cliché
Featuring sick parrots and the cliché crisis that affected the writing of Flaubert, Joyce, and Eliot, and helped shape modern language and culture.

©2008 Testbed Audio Ltd;

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (286 )
5 star
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4.0 (107 )
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Story
4.4 (105 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (8)
2 star
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1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Anne Balerno, Midlothian, United Kingdom 26/06/2010
    Anne Balerno, Midlothian, United Kingdom 26/06/2010
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    "Stephen Fry never lets you down"

    Yet another piece of genius from Mr Fry. This was educational, funny, entertaining. Finding out the origins of everyday phrases and sayings was an eye-opener in many cases. Fans of Stephen Fry and of the English language will enjoy this.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom 05/03/2011
    Tim High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom 05/03/2011
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    "The Title Rings True- Fry hits the Right Notes"

    I seem to be going through a 'Fry phase' at the moment, as I've just finished the entire series of 'Stephen Fry in America', watched many episodes of 'Jeeves And Wooster' & have listened to his excellent 'Stephen Fry Presents - Short Stories by Anton Chekhov'. I've even watched his videos debating alongside Christopher Hitchens & have yet to find him annoying, snobbish or arrogant, but rather the model of a renaissance man.

    Overall I found this lived up to expectations & moves me one stage closer to wanting to explore his books again (which initially put me off his work). As yet, I'm still to find anything from Fry's second-wind that hasn't appealed & educated in equal measure. Here's hoping the sequel is as good...

    P.S. If you want to see reviews of the individual sections, please do a search for 'Fry's English Delight' & it should bring them up on page two. The sections are (in order):
    1. 'Current Puns'
    2. 'Metaphor'
    3. 'Quotation'
    4. 'Cliche'

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander Macallister 02/02/2014

    stramash

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    "Inimitable, incorrigible, indispensible Fry"
    Would you listen to Fry's English Delight again? Why?

    All good literature (or art) rewards the returning devotee, and this serial of reflections is truly artistic. It is also fascinating in its insightful foray into the structure and history of this melting pot of an international language.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Fry is engaging and enthusiastic in his style, succeeding in drawing the listener closer to the bosom of his speaker unit, rather like having a chum over to tiffin who you can't persuade to shut up and drink his tea. Strangely endearing, you don't want him to leave...


    Any additional comments?

    It may require sesveral repeat listens before you retain any significant amount of knowledge, but you will almost immediately FEEL more intelligent. Perhaps Fry's work is already at least half accomplished at this point?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johanna United Kingdom 23/12/2012
    Johanna United Kingdom 23/12/2012 Member Since 2011

    Lover of nice voices :)

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    "Very Enjoyable"

    If you like English and you like Stephen Fry you will certainly enjoy this. It wasn't the most exciting book I've ever listened too, but it's a nice little gem that will make you giggle several times.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Croydon, United Kingdom 08/08/2012
    Philip Croydon, United Kingdom 08/08/2012 Member Since 2012

    I listen rather than read on train journeys as I can't stand being jostled by other travelers, and walking & listening is so easy

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    "Worth re-listening MANY times"

    It's great when you find a radio show that is so engaging, interesting and educational that you just HAVE to listen to it again and again, and this is such an example

    The show goes from strength to strength, with Stephen Fry giving the overview and experts in the fields along with comedians - this is just a complete and utter joy to listen to

    If you love the English language, this radio show in an audio book is a MUST buy - I'm only dropping to 4 stars because it's so short, if it was longer I could enjoy more of the information that the show imparts, and give it all 5 stars

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer UK 08/11/2015
    Amazon Customer UK 08/11/2015 Member Since 2015

    andywake7

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    "Delightful"

    What's not to like? If you like the English language then this is for you

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    critical friend England 06/10/2015
    critical friend England 06/10/2015 Member Since 2014

    smiles better

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    "Every pun intended!"

    It does no harm to his international credibility that Stephen Fry played the gentleman's gentleman Jeeves in the television versions of PG Wodehouse's Wooster stories. His manners and Englishness were established.
    His erudition and verbal/grammatical dexterity are on display both in the way he has written and also performed the four episodes about the foibles of the English language. An appreciation of irony as well as the intricacies of the tongue featuring in the title will help a fuller appreciation of how cleverly it is written and performed. Nevertheless it is a good exposition of some curiousities of English that will edify native speakers and those acquiring the language alike.
    It is worth having the audible version, not only to hear Fry speaking his own words with the correct pronounciation and cadence, but also the occasional groan of supposed self-deprecation when straying into a strained pun. It is a performance and series worth listening to several times as there is a richness of language, humour and intelligence in all four pieces that have been broadcast on radio by the BBC.
    It doesn't get five stars from me for story as frankly there isn't one and each of the four pieces can stand on their own, although it is better to hear them in order to appreciate his thesis. I would have liked more as there are other avenues and characteristics of the language and the people who speak it to be described.
    International audiences may not have appreciated the pun in the title that is rather cheeky in exploiting the BBC's ban on advertising by referring to an advert that is no longer shown, but would have been prominent in Fry's formative years. That is for a sweetmeat made by a company called Fry and widely, repeatedly advertised as "Fry's Turkish Delight".Or should that be allusion?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Peck saunders 27/09/2015
    David Peck saunders 27/09/2015 Member Since 2015
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    "Very entertaining!"

    Very well researched piece of reading. well read and entertaining indeed . what more could I say. Metaphor. puns clichés interviews with many interesting people in the business.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 17/02/2015 Member Since 2014
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    "light and entertaining"
    Would you listen to Fry's English Delight again? Why?

    Educational and entertaining


    What did you like best about this story?

    Content and delivery


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Fry – was your favourite?

    N/a


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyed - Stephen is as ever an engaging and enlightening presenter.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. L. A. O. Mclaughlin uk 26/12/2014

    jact

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    "Great stuff unbelievable"

    Very concise and enlightening. It brightened up my dark and misty day. Would not hesitate to recommend this audio book to anyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • W. Doug Bolden
    Huntsville, AL United States
    20/01/10
    Overall
    "Good, but could have been better"

    I love Stephen Fry and I love etymology, so there was a good bit for me to love, here. The overall package was a little lacking, though. The basic format is to take puns, metaphors, cliches, and quotes and to discuss them as four separate subjects. The "puns" and "quotes" episodes bring up a lot of interesting points about why puns are funny and what makes a good quote, and the "metaphor" episode makes an interesting point about metaphors being a birthing ground for new language; but, on the other hand, the metaphor episode seems poorly edited (ending really abruptly) and full of conjecture and the cliche episode could have probably been cut with no significant loss. My final take is that Fry fans and linguophiles especially should check it out and most interested in playing around with language will enjoy at least one of the four episodes.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Alina
    Australia
    24/08/11
    Overall
    "This is a very English delight"

    Fry's delightfully plummy voice discusses the uses and misuses of the English language in consultation with assorted experts. Many quips from Fry and many "I did not know that" moments about the origin of English expressions. You're unlikely to want to listen to this series more than once but it's a most diverting listen for a long drive.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Villas, NJ, United States
    08/08/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just a friendly chat about this funny language called English."

    Just a very conversational discussion about the common language that separates two peoples.

    If you've ever asked yourself about why we speak the way we do this series will help explain parts of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leon
    Kansas City, KS, United States
    26/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "for those that enjoy word play"
    What did you love best about Fry's English Delight?

    I love the obvious joy that Mr. Fry shows in all manner of word play in the English language.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Stephen Fry? Why or why not?

    Certainly


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Fry – was your favorite?

    This doesn't really apply. Stephen Fry is more of a narrator rather than a performer of characters. This is factual exposition, not a story as such.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    no, but I did especially enjoy the part devoted to puns


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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