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Spreading the Word: Fry's Planet Word

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This title is a part of the series Fry's Planet Word Series


Catalogue Number:  BBC035
Producer:  BBC
Subject:  English, History, Language Arts
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin:  U.S.
Copyright Year:  2011
Running Time:  59
Closed Captions:  Yes


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In this program, Stephen Fry delves into the history of the written word, starting with the earliest writing - cuneiform - and ending with blogging and twittering. Along the way he looks at how printing shaped our relationship with writing, eventually resulting in libraries, encyclopedias, and computer code. Topics include Egyptian hieroglyphics, Homer, and the Phoenicians; the spread of Arabic; Pinyin and Chinese literacy (with Zhou Youguang, called the "father of Pinyin"); typography, the development of the book, and the standardization of English; the rise of reading, and Diderot’s Encyclopédie; the Bodleian Library; Wikipedia; social media and the Arab Spring; and the MIT Media Lab.

A BBC production.


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