When I think of a comparison and contrast piece, the first thing I imagine is “polar opposites”. The clear cut contrasts like Democrats and Republicans, Carnivores and Vegans, and even more start contrasts like Christians and Atheists. What one does not think of nearly so often is what I am going to discuss: Sachi and Stephen Fry. Sachi’s Flashy Words and Stephen Fry’s Language are quite similar. Both strain from the same belief: don’t take language so seriously. While Fry believes that language is a person pursuit to the love of individual language and acceptance, Sachi draws a more pessimistic “Language shouldn’t matter because language just doesn’t matter!” They are much more similar than someone as starkly contrary to this duo, Weird Al and his piece, Word Crimes. While comparing two opposing forces, with each other giving context and validity to each side, comparing similar themes allows us to delve into the subtle changes. People so often will compare Star Trek to Star Wars, but who compares the comic book Star Wars with it’s Movie counterparts but those already part of that group? Things such as this push entire beliefs and opinions together, assuming that the most liberal Republican is no better than the most conservative Republican from an outsider perspective. My blog post seeks to debunk this and show that no matter how similar two pieces can be, their differences put them on two different worlds in and of themselves.
Stephen Fry sums up his statement in “Language” regarding usage of words and the anal retentiveness of linguistic entrepreneurs by saying “Context, convention, and circumstance are all.”(1) This comes about due to the aggressive nature regarding those with a degree or pedigree above others thinking that those they perceive as commoners are destined to be subject to a tongue lashing about the correct usage of words for the sake of political correctness and proper grammar. He advocates against the use of hostile speech on the sheer basis of “it just doesn’t matter”, referring to the liquidity of language and how it has changed over time. He believes, simply put, that those that know how to correctly portray English have no right to be uppity and presumptuous, for it ruins the love of language…the language that they cherish so dearly. He cites Shakespeare, and how while many presume his words to be golden, he would be the recipient of great arrogance by these elitists of wordage on the mere notion of his delivery. Shakespeare used nouns that we would consider verbs, and regardless of this bastardizing of our beautiful dictations, we hail him as the harbinger of screenplays. In the end, the reality of Stephen Fry’s words are that he seeks to remove the competitive nature of language, and to instead focus on the wonder that language brings.
Sachi, on the hand, debunks the exact science that language gives us. He attempts to speak of how our desire to articulate strings from a particular desire to matter in the world. It begins by exclaiming that the world is not as it is on paper, and that regardless of how nice it sounds to be a well-articulated individual, the real world doesn’t care. He explains this by saying homonyms such as “piece” and “peace”, as well as “mine” and “mind”. His moral is that while words may help others in fiction, reality has no time for Flashy Words, and that’s just one of life’s sad truths. His more pessamistic belief brings us to a point where we must thing how alive words really are, and either agreeing or contesting with him will allow you truly understand the relationship you have with what you speak.(2)
We are now gathered here to put to rest a debate started a long three paragraphs ago. We came to remember how Mr. Fry exclaimed through excited bellows that the world is not made to cling to correct punctuation, and that tis better to love the art then to critique the colors, and that it all boils down to personal belief and complete control over your actions regardless of opinion. This belief was challenged by Sachi’s words, which ring out “Words just don’t matter!” In the end, he exclaims through staggering breath and desperate intention that we the people are just trying to live, and no manner of flashy imagery of the linguistic fashion can give us the solutions to our own stories which chug along regardless of what we want. He demands that in the end, the success or failure of our adventures through this generation are done through actions, not articulation.
In the end, both are the sole representation of how words can have meaning beyond what we perceive. Fry was under the impression, whether legitimate or not, that how one uses words words is not as important as the emotions put into them. Sachi, on the other hand, was of the firm belief that words had no meaning, and trying to force meaning and emotion into them were pointless. While both had different degrees of emotion towards words that had too strict of enforcement, but both agree that words should be jested with, not used as a sole essence of one’s personality. While on the same subject and following similar paths, it is clear that these two are not apples from the same tree.
1. Rogers, Matthew “Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography – Language” September 30, 2010
2. Shihan. “Flashy Words Written By Shihan.” Sachi’s Life In Words. N.p., 30 Mar. 2009. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.