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Because Internet : Understanding the New Rules of Language
by Gretchen McCulloch




Overview -
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Named a Best Book of 2019 by TIME, Amazon, and The Washington Post

A Wired Must-Read Book of Summer

"Gretchen McCulloch is the internet's favorite linguist, and this book is essential reading. Reading her work is like suddenly being able to see the matrix." --Jonny Sun, author of everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too

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 influence the way we communicate with one another. She explains how your first social internet experience influences whether you prefer LOL or lol, why sparkly tildes succeeded where centuries of proposals for irony punctuation had failed, what emoji have in common with physical gestures, and how the artfully disarrayed language of animal memes like lolcats and doggo made them more likely to spread.

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More About Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch

 
 
 

Overview

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Named a Best Book of 2019 by TIME, Amazon, and The Washington Post

A Wired Must-Read Book of Summer

"Gretchen McCulloch is the internet's favorite linguist, and this book is essential reading. Reading her work is like suddenly being able to see the matrix." --Jonny Sun, author of everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too

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 influence the way we communicate with one another. She explains how your first social internet experience influences whether you prefer LOL or lol, why sparkly tildes succeeded where centuries of proposals for irony punctuation had failed, what emoji have in common with physical gestures, and how the artfully disarrayed language of animal memes like lolcats and doggo made them more likely to spread.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735210943
  • ISBN-10: 0735210942
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publish Date: July 2020
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.6 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Book Clubs: January 2021

Four fresh takes on work and life in the digital age.

In Uncanny Valley, Anna Wiener chronicles her career at a Silicon Valley startup. After an unrewarding stint in New York publishing, Wiener was ready to give the San Francisco tech world a try, but the behind-the- scenes reality of the industry took her by surprise. Wiener tells of a patriarchal culture of wealth and ambition that left her disenchanted and in search of answers about her own life. Written with humor and intelligence, this briskly paced memoir explores gender in the workplace, the millennial mindset and the uses and abuses of power by influential companies. It’s a tech industry tell-all that’s both riveting and relevant.

Gretchen McCulloch delivers an intriguing study of the terminology, grammar and symbolism that shape online communication in Because Internet. McCulloch is a linguistics whiz who writes clearly and comprehensively for the lay reader about her area of expertise. In Because Internet, she delves into the development and diffusion of online slang, the power of memes and the inspiration behind emoji. Trends in online vocabulary and the progression of language are among the subjects up for debate, providing reading groups with meaty material for discussion.

Jia Tolentino critiques digital-age trends and attitudes in her acclaimed debut essay collection, Trick Mirror. Over the course of the book’s nine pieces, Tolentino examines the impact of social media and the internet, the American dream of perfectionism and other timely topics. She also shares personal stories, including an essay on her brush with reality TV. (She appeared on “Girls v. Boys: Puerto Rico.”) Funny, savvy and insightful, the collection establishes Tolentino as a vital millennial voice. Complex topics including self-image in the era of Instagram and the risks and rewards of social media make this collection a terrific pick for any book club.

Of the moment and utterly fascinating, Victoria Turk’s Kill Reply All explores the unique and multifaceted challenges of digital communication. Turk, who is a features editor at Wired UK, offers valuable advice about how to communicate online with confidence, whether that’s through chatting in a dating app or answering emails at work. Bringing a comic flair to the proceedings, she covers important topics like online friendships, the uses of emoji and the finer points of text messaging. There’s plenty for reading groups to debate and discuss in Turk’s thoughtful yet lighthearted guide to being polite in your online life.

 

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