Publishers Weeklyjun 10 2019
McCulloch, writer of the “Resident Linguist” column for Wired and podcast cohost of Lingthusiasm, debuts with a funny and fascinating examination of the evolution of language in the digital age. Exploring everything from capitalization and punctuation to emojis and gifs, her book breaks down the structure of “internet language” in a precise and engaging way. She offers novices a well-structured introduction to modern linguistics, including a history of informal writing and the social implications of language. McCulloch discusses the ongoing shift toward less formal, more concise greetings in message writing, observing that receiving emails from strangers provides a “never-ending multiplayer guessing game of what generation someone’s in,” based on how her correspondent addresses her. She also discusses the stylized language of memes, sharing an excerpt of Genesis translated into the terminology of lolcat memes and the function of punctuation in text messages, such as how a period may or may not signal passive aggression. An extensive notes section invites readers to further explore the impact the internet has had on language. Thanks to McCulloch’s skill in explaining both academic and popular subjects, this survey will make an excellent starting point for anyone’s exploration of the topic.
Because Internet: Understanding The New Rules Of Language By: Gretchen Mcculloch
Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language
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Because Internet is for anyone who’s ever puzzled over how to punctuate a text message or wondered where memes come from. It’s the perfect book for understanding how the internet is changing the English language, why that’s a good thing, and what our online interactions reveal about who we are. Language is humanity’s most spectacular open-source project, and the internet is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before. Internet conversations are structured by the shape of our apps and platforms, from the grammar of status updates to the protocols of comments and @replies. Linguistically inventive online communities spread new slang and jargon with dizzying speed. What’s more, social media is a vast laboratory of unedited, unfiltered words where we can watch language evolve in real time.Even the most absurd-looking slang has genuine patterns behind it. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch explores the deep forces that shape human language and
Because Internet: Understanding The New Rules Of Language
Im the author of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, a pop linguistics book in defense of internet language, which came out from Riverhead at Penguin on July 23, 2019 in the US and Canada and on October 3, 2019 from Harvill Secker in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries that get UK editions of books.
A linguistically informed look at how our digital world is transforming the English language.
Language is humanitys most spectacular open-source project, and the internet is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before. Internet conversations are structured by the shape of our apps and platforms, from the grammar of status updates to the protocols of comments and @replies. Linguistically inventive online communities spread new slang and jargon with dizzying speed. Whats more, social media is a vast laboratory of unedited, unfiltered words where we can watch language evolve in real time.
Because Internet is essential reading for anyone whos ever puzzled over how to punctuate a text message or wondered where memes come from. Its the perfect book for understanding how the internet is changing the English language, why thats a good thing, and what our online interactions reveal about who we are.
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Why Has Language Changed So Much So Fast Because Internet
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Toward the end of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, the linguist Gretchen McCulloch acknowledges a paradox at the heart of her book. On the one hand, books about usage tend to enshrine language in a set of rules, and woe to anyone who tries to break them. On the other, the new rules floating in the digital ether are constantly changing anything tethered to the material world of dead trees cant possibly keep up.
McCulloch doesnt have a problem with this. Rather than thinking of books as a way of embalming language, of rendering it fixed and dead for eternity, she writes, we can think of them as maps and guidebooks to help people navigate languages living, moving splendor.
With Because Internet, she has written an incisive and entertaining guidebook of her own. I was reflexively suspicious of her title the because noun construction is quintessential internetese but by reading this book Ive gained a clearer sense why. To someone like me, who was introduced to email in college, the language of online chatter can look almost aggressively cute in the context of a book.
What People Think
Because Internet is a New York Times bestseller!
Named a Best Book of 2019 by Esquire, Real Simple, TIME, The Washington Post, BookPage, Washington Independent Review of Books, Vox, and Amazon.
A Wired Must-Read Book of Summer
McCulloch is such a disarming writer lucid, friendly, unequivocally excited about her subject that I began to marvel at the flexibility of the online language she describes, with its numerous shades of subtlety. The New York Times
Gretchen McCulloch is the internets favorite linguist, and this book is essential reading. Reading her work is like suddenly being able to see the matrix. She explains the hows and the whys of the ways we talk online with the deepest empathy, understanding, and compassion. Jonny Sun, author of everyones a aliebn when ur a aliebn too
McCullochs book is a good start in guiding readers to consider the wild language of the internet as a thing of wondera valuable feature, not a bug. The Wall Street Journal
effervescent study of how the digital world is transfiguring English. . . . almost political thesisthe more voices, the betterrebukes both the élitism of traditional grammar snobs and the cliquishness of, say, Tumblr. Its a vision of language as one way to make room for one another. The New Yorker
Lively and wide-ranging. NPR
We know lols, emojis and hashtags are altering our discourse. Linguist McCulloch countsand revels inthe ways. Give it to your favorite stickler. People
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