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More Than Words

One Mans Journey Through Language.

Nigel Buckland has always been fascinated by Words. Big Words, Obscure Words, Odd Phrases, Pithy Puns, Local Colloquialisms, Regional Variations, Euphemisms, Double-Entendres, Similes, Collective Nouns & Colourful Yet Creative ‘Bad Language’.

Nigel scours dictionaries & thesauri devouring words and digesting their meanings…

‘Philology’ someone who studies the original meanings of words.

‘Phrenology’ someone who studies the bumps on your head!

As a pale youth Nigel suffered from (undiagnosed) Attention-Deficit-Disorder He left school without any decent qualifications apart from woodwork, but nowadays he considers himself truly ‘Auto-didactic’… (Look it up …you can’t be bothered? Okay… it means self-taught)  

…But Nigel would be the first to admit that he’s not always entirely confident when it comes to the correct use of grammar and the proper deployment of specific literary conventions and rules governing what is lovingly called ‘The Queen’s English’…
 
…To this end, Nigel is embarking on a journey through the English language.

‘More Than Words’

Using archive footage and conducting interviews with the many and varied practitioners, ‘Vendors’ of the multifarious vibrant vernaculars in-use today. Nigel will attempt to glean insights from fast-talking street traders, local wits, stand-up comics, writers, & actors. And, of course, academics. Some of whom, who are still valiantly fighting the demise of received pronounciated English- all thanks to Homer J. Simpson & Mary J Blige. (It’s literally a War of Words!)

Language and words can be used as a smokescreen to confuse and baffle (see above!) but it can also be rich, rousing, rhythmical & poetic.

‘More Than Words’

Interviews:

Murray Lachlan Young.   Very entertaining ‘posh’ poet.

John Cooper Clarke.        Very entertaining ‘Mancunian’ bard.

Will Self.                          ‘Wordy’ writer/pundit/reviewer

Arthur Scargill.                Famed NUM leader & speechmaker

Mark E Smith                   Leader of seminal punk band The Fall

Howard Stern.                 American radio ‘Shock-Jock’

Lynne Truss. Author: ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’.  Grammar & mispronunciation.

English Academics: language is evolving all the time. Eminem. The new Dickens? Discuss.


Archive:

Evangelical preachers/Tele-evangelists in full flow.

American English/Slang.

Cassius Clay.

Groucho Marx.

Sir Stanley Unwin.

Peter Cook.

Vivian Stanshall.

Ghandi.


Wordsmiths:

William Shakespeare. Bob Dylan.


‘More Than Words’

Regional vernacular/accents:
Del-Boy/Londoners/Northerners/Manx/Highlanders/Borders/Scousers

The Irish: Kissing the Blarney.

Examples:

Richard Burton: an excellent actor with great vocal stage projection. Burton’s rich thespian voice was literally miles away from his hometown of Cwmaman in South Wales. But Burton wasn’t afraid to change his accent to suit his newfound fame and success… And he certainly wasn’t afraid when interviewed to drop the occasional weighty palindrome into the conversation (Clip)

The Oratory Tradition. Neil Kinnock. During his tenure as leader of the Labour opposition in 1980’s Thatcher’s Britain, Kinnock was perhaps less than lovingly referred to by the tabloid press as ‘The Welsh Windbag’
 
Seemingly, the criticism was because…

…“Kinnock uses ten words when two would suffice”…

Interview with Neil Kinnock:

How does Neil regard his portrayal in the tabloid press at the time?

Was he simply stitched up by right-wing media bias?

Was he influenced by the oratory tradition? The Welsh Chapel ‘Fire & Brimstone’ Hellfire Preachers.

Was Kinnock’s press-pillorying an early example of the ‘dumbing down’ phenomenon so prevalent today?

Shouldn’t politicians have a well-educated, firm grasp of language and be fully aware of the potential power of a few (well, perhaps more than a few) well-chosen words? (Continued)…


‘More Than Words’

…(Archive politicians- Kinnock, Churchill-Hitler-Dennis Skinner-Lloyd George-Enoch’s ‘Rivers of blood’ speech)

Issues raised here: Orators/Politicians/Activists using their ‘gift’, their ability to stir up emotions & foment the masses into violent revolt etc.

The Archie Bunker/Alf Garnett
Effect-the eloquent, emotive nature of the ranters argument can pass from parody into reality.

Allegedly, The Sun Newspaper is written with the reading age of a nine year old in mind. This obviously begs the question as to why all these well bred privately educated over achieving ‘New-Lads & Laddettes’ who all work at the Sun are doing a sort of ‘Reverse Pygmalion Effect’.

They are actively putting their ‘accent’ on the wrong side of the tracks ‘Avin’ It Large, Mate” Faux Cockerney Bollocks! Whilst mummy still breeds prize-winning Labradors in the Home Counties….

Interview typical ‘Miles/Giles/Matt/Sam/Jack/Jon/Adam & Joe/Zizzi & Zoë.’ The new-post Guy Ritchie posh types who have forgone their privileged plummy vowel sounds in favour of the all encompassing ‘Estuary Accent’ which is evidently spreading ever further from the Thames Estuary every day.

Liz Hurley sounds like the Queen Mum gargling phlegm.  
   
Nigel is after all, a left-handed, dyslexic, Aquarian, 21st Century, New-Age Renaissance Bloke with his repetitively-stressed index finger permanently poised over the stop/rewind/play/pause of the modern Milieu. He bestrides the smorgasbord of pre and or post-modern culture in an ‘Uber-Zeitgeist’ kind of way. It’s rather like having a HUGE SWEATY THIGHED white-skinned male version of Beyonce Knowles standing over you… 

It might seem like ‘More Than Words’ covers too much ground but the basic premise is simple: Nigel Likes Words. He likes their sound, their meanings (Many & varied!) their correct/incorrect use. He likes their devoted practitioners and he thinks they smell nice too. 

 
 
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