Among his countless occupations, Stephen Fry acts, writes scripts, performs comedy, writes books, broadcasts on the radio, writes plays, presents television programs, and writes poetry. Words, it seems, have served him well, or, rather, he's made industrious use of them. Anyone involved with such a wide range of the verbal arts must give quite a bit of thought to how language works, but Fry has acted directly on this interest. His and Hugh Laurie's comedy show A Bit of Fry and Laurie featured linguistically themed sketches; more recently, his podcast Stephen Fry's Podgrams offered commentaries on language. He even went so far as to host Fry's Planet Word, a five-part BBC television series on language, "how we learn it, write it and sometimes lose it, and why it defines us."
Given Fry's position as a bastion of modern British wit who cares deeply about the words we speak and write, you might assume he uses only the highest, most refined kind of English. Not so, it seems; Fry can get down into the verbal gutter with the best of them, and the interview clip above contains his defense — or, to be more precise, his endorsement — of swearing. "It would be impossible to imagine going through life without swearing, and without enjoying swearing," he attests. Some would call swearing unnecessary, and Fry recontextualizes their argument like so: "It's not necessary to have colored socks. It's not necessary for this cushion to be here. But is anyone going to write in and say, 'I was shocked to see that cushion there! It really wasn't necessary'? No. Things not being necessary is what makes life interesting."