Stephen Fry - Stephen Frys English Delight
2009 | ASIN: B002FQKM1O | English | MP3/128Kbps | 80 MB
Starting off with a section called Current Puns, the English language is dissected in depth by a mixture of academics and amateurs. The comedian who holds the world record for the most jokes told in an hour (Tim Vine, at 499) is asked about how he makes puns & there is also a section on the Pun computer. Fry also analyses different types of puns & ends with one of his favourites (which Im sorely tempted to tell you, if it werent for the fact that it would ruin your enjoyment of the CD!)
Section 2 is Metaphor. Many other reviewers have said that Section 1 is the only section worth listening to, but I disagree. This section is arguably the best one, with lots of QI-style insightful gambits. The large quantity of Naval metaphors (e.g. taken aback) are explored in this section, along with skeletons of metaphors. Personally I had no idea that English was so laden with buried metaphors within individual words (e.g. sarcastic meaning flesh tearing). The phrase Deep Metaphor takes on a whole new meaning...
Moving onto CD 2, Section 3 is Quotation. Unlike QI: Advanced Banter, this is not just a long list of quotes but more an exploration of their nature (although it does include some good ones - e.g. Pretentious? Moi?? by Miss Piggy). Fry explores the meme-like nature of quotes & their nature, before looking into some users of quotes (such as Politicians & Celebrities). There is also a section on the institution that is Colemanballs - tawdry, cliched & incongruent quotations made by Football commentators.
Section 4 is Cliche, which sounds like a dreadful idea for an ending, but is actually interesting. Cliches arent just cringe-worthy, but are actually a way of using language efficiently. There are interviews with printers (where the term cliche comes from) & also compilers of Dictionaries of Cliche (e.g. The Penguin Dictionary of Cliches). This section also explores Tottenhams history with Parrot cliches as well as many other animal-related cliches that seem to plague but also enrich the English language.