Stephen Fry explores linguistic achievements and how our skills for the spoken word have developed in a five part series for BBC Two.
I Planet Word Stephen dissects language in all its guises with his inimitable mixture of learning, love of lexicon and humour. He analyses how we use and abuse language and asks whether we are near to beginning to understand the complexities of its DNA. From the time when man first mastered speech to the cyber world of modern times with html codes and texting, Planet Word takes viewers on a journey across the globe to discover just how far humans have come when in comes to the written and spoken word.
Fry first seeks to uncover the origins of the written language in episode One: Babel. He then charts the shifting patterns of lingua franca and the spread of Globish. He goes on to explore how swearing plays an important part in human communication in episode Three, before searching further into the history and present of the written word in episode Four. Stephen Fry ends his lexical quest with a celebration of storytelling, and its unique power to influence language.
Writer and Presenter: Stephen Fry
Director: John-Paul Davidson and Helen Williamson
Producer: Helen Williamson