Uses and Abuses: Fry's Planet Word
Catalogue Number: BBC034
Subject: English, Language Arts, Medicine
Grade Level: 9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin: U.S.
Copyright Year: 2011
Running Time: 58
Closed Captions: Yes
While not everyone approves of “bad” words, in this program Stephen Fry learns that profanity plays an important role in human communication. Fry undergoes an MRI scan to find the part of the brain associated with swearing, and meets a stroke patient and a person with Tourette syndrome, both of whom say they can’t help using the F-word. Topics include swearing to relieve pain (with Brian Blessed); the power of bad words in humor and social interactions (with Armando Iannucci, Stephen K. Amos, and Omid Djalili); the use of double entendres and euphemisms to hide true meanings; and how slang and jargon ultimately add to the richness of language.
A BBC Production.