Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch

Because Internet

A linguistically informed look at how our digital world is transforming the English language. 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 commun...

Details Because Internet

TitleBecause Internet
Release DateJul 23rd, 2019
PublisherRiverhead Books
GenreNonfiction, Humanities, Language, Linguistics, Science, Technology, Audiobook, Writing, Adult, History, Sociology

Reviews Because Internet

  • Jenna
    I find the evolution of languages fascinating so as soon as I saw the cover/title of this book, I knew it was one I'd enjoy.  The author Gretchen McCulloch is a linguist who studies internet language.  In this book she shows us how English has transformed since and because of the internet.  She explores memes, hashtags, emoticons, and emojis, showing how we use them in place of gestures and facial expressions in our written online language.  ...
  • Amanda
    The first book I've ever felt was written for ME: an Internet kid of a particular micro-generation, interested in examining my online life with as much respect and rigor as we apply to traditional literature and academic studies. I LOVED this book. I'll be buying copies for my dad, my little sister, and people of many ages in between.
  • Donna Backshall
    I was so excited to finally get this audiobook on loan from my library. I felt like I'd been waiting for months, which of course is a great sign. I love linguistics and this is a popular book, so I was expecting a good solid read.Well, it's a weird book. Informative, yes, but also weird.It's weird because McCulloch uses words like "wonderfully" and "innovative" to praise EVERY SINGLE CHANGE that has been made to communication in The Internet Age....
  • NinjaMuse
    In brief: A linguist looks at the ways the internet has changed English, with digressions into internet culture as a whole.Full disclosure: This was a reading copy which I received through work, with the expectation that I would like it enough to review it and then order it for stock. This book is out July 23, 2019.Thoughts: This was a really interesting read, containing a lot of stuff I knew without knowing and also stuff I hadnt thought about. ...
  • Rebecca
    Im surprised by how fascinating I found this: Im a late adopter when it comes to technology (Im still resisting a smartphone) and I havent given linguistics a thought since that one class I took in college, but it turns out that my proofreaders interest in the English language and my daily use of e-mail and social media were enough to make it extremely relevant. The Montreal linguists thesis is that the Internet popularized informal writing and q...
  • Mara
    What can I say-- nerdy books about language are my thing :). This was a really insightful analysis of how internet communications have evolved over time. The highlights for me were her dissection of different "generations" of internet users (e.g. "old internet" vs. "full internet," etc.), as well as the emoji chapter. This is one of the books that ends up having a lot of descriptive power, and I appreciated how it made me more aware of why I talk...
  • Mary Cebalt
    I ended up being a little let down by this book. Maybe it was just that I was expecting something different. I was really hoping for more talk about current linguistics/language from the internet. It was heavily about the history of the internet, which definitely served a purpose and was necessary to understand the evolution of our language with the internet. But there seemed to be little actual discussion on the interesting linguistic aspects of...
  • Wanda
    I found this authors joy in her research to be contagious. She obviously loves linguistics and her interactions on the internet. In these days when there is so much contention and negativity on the interwebz, this is great to read.As she points out, the use of slang presupposes that the writer knows the correct usage that they are deviating from and therefore is enjoying the process. And there have been panics about telephone use, among other tec...
  • Niklas Pivic
    This is as much a guide into the world of how living with internetand all device-interconnected glories around ithas changed language and the ways in which we think, as it is a linguistic analysis into how language has become intertwined with internet.An example of when digital communications can be analysed:Even keysmash, that haphazard mashing of fingers against keyboard to signal a feeling so intense that you cant even type real words, has pat...
  • Peter Tillman
    A good book by a linguist about language on the internet. It's a bit scattershot, but I ended up reading, and liking, most of it. Her enthusiasm is infectious -- though we do get linguist-type stuff like (p. 138) when she "almost fell off her chair" on figuring out the use of the tilde in internet sarcasm. And the ~*~sparkle~*~ ecosystem! Heh. My favorite chapter was her chapter on Internet People. By her classification, I fall into the tail end ...
  • thefourthvine
    This was a lot of fun, but more in a nostalgia sense than a learning-things sense. I, apparently, am an Old Internet Person (and the daughter of an Old Internet Person; my father was online before I was, because he started out on arpanet), and unlike the Old Internet People described in the book, Ive been trucking right along through most social media platforms and linguistic changes. (McCulloch says most peoples linguistic patterns are set in ad...
  • Mehrsa
    Fascinating research about the evolution of online language and the differences between generations. I am not a digital native and so I always try to use good grammar in texts and tweets and I know that the cool young kids have a different way of interacting with it than I do. It was really nice to have the data to make sense of it. McCulloch has the coolest research agenda ever.
  • Fatma
    in hindsight it was maybe not the best idea to listen to the audiobook of a book about written language
  • Jennie
    :*:゚★,:*:゚ 4.5 stars :*:゚★,:*:゚Brilliant and joyful examination of language in the age of the internet. You'll learn something and you'll enjoy the ride. I think most people would find this interesting, but all you language/internet nerds out there will love it. 。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚ 4.5 stars 。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚Brilliant and joyful examination of language in the age of the internet. You'll learn ...
  • Leslie
    As an applied linguist and Full Internet Person according to the standards of this book, I adored this. It made me laugh out loud and constantly rethink why I communicate the way I do when Im online with my frands 💕 and why we can share very specific memes with each other and its like weve exchanged a knowing glance across the room. This was pretty accessible to read, although I can see a lot of the humor going over the heads of people who don...
  • Julie
    Skimmed mainly, reading more in depth as something caught my eye. Overall, interesting and informative.
  • Anna
    'Because Internet' is a highly entertaining examination of changing linguistic norms in the internet age. It hits that sweet spot between accessible writing and analytical rigour impressively well throughout. Successive chapters provoked a lot of thoughts about my own communication habits and those of my friends, family, colleagues, students, and peer group. It also gave me a much appreciated explanation as to why people use emojis, which I didn'...
  • Robin Bonne
    Even though I lived through much of internet culture, this chronological blast through the past brought back a lot of memories. Language has been changing and this thoroughly researched book details how the internet impacts the way we write, speak, and communicate with one another.
  • Neil R. Coulter
    Finallyan excellent book about internet-influenced language change! Other books on this topic (Im thinking especially of Emmy Favillas dreary A World Without Whom) bothered me, but Gretchen McCulloch has triumphed. And the reason is simple: other authors in this area convey a sarcastic, smirky, mocking attitude toward the subject and at least some of their readers. By contrast, McCulloch writes from deep joy and delight, welcoming the reader as a...
  • Anya
    As a Full Internet Person and a language nerd (who probably would have studied linguistics had it been an option at her university), this book is RIGHT up my linguistic internet alley! I have been following Gretchens blog All Things Linguistic for years, and to see all her hard work culminate in this book is amazing!Have you ever had to explain to your parents why their texts come across as passive aggressive? Have you tried and failed to explain...
  • Anne-Cara
    I award this book five stars and all the internets; A++, would read again. (Very linguistics, much awesome, wow)
  • Neville Longbottom
    ~* tHiS bOoK tOtAlLy RoX mY sOx *~How have the ways we type and communicate online changed over the years? Whats the difference between a person who started going online in the early 90s compared with someone who grew up with social media in the 2010s? Because Internet is a really fascinating look at linguistics online and how the English language has changed over time because of the internet. I think the thing I appreciated most about this book ...
  • Rod Brown
    First we must appreciate the irony of a book about informal language and writing that is written in formal language. The fascinating subject matter kept me reading though, even when the prose dragged. (With a cohort here and a cohort there, here a cohort, there a cohort, everywhere a cohort. Old McCulloch had a word, OM, OMG!)Well, it was fascinating for an old fart like me who texts maybe once or twice a week. I'm sure younger readers will just ...
  • Jen
    This was super fun to listen to, and I'm glad that I opted to listen (the author's twitter posts about pronouncing keysmash and lol, etc. were a tipping point -- how could I, an dyed-in-the-wool internet denizen and audiobook aficionado, resist?).I thought it was really fascinating to hear my life described (I was an early internet person, first getting online in the heyday of IRC chat and I had files full of ASCII art in my non-graphical-interfa...
  • Megan Richardson
    Would recommend for people interested in language, the internet, a social history of the last ~30 years, or anyone wondering why the youths talk like they do. Would recommend for people interested in language, the internet, a social history of the last ~30 years, or anyone wondering why “the youths” talk like they do.
  • Lauren
    I love linguistics. I think its fascinating to read about the complexities, history, and grammatical eccentricities of new languages. I love learning about developments over time, how phrases are tied to historical events, the differences between formal and informal communications. And I love the internet and all its weird, culty, brilliantly expressive linguistic conventions. Needless to say, my expectations for this book were pretty high. But o...
  • Sharon
    This is a fascinating and incredibly accessible look at how language has evolved in tandem with the internet. Although it's primarily about English, McCulloch is thoughtful about incorporating examples from around the world whenever possible.My personal favorite part of the analysis goes beyond typical generation names (Millennials, Gen-Xers, Boomers) to group people into linguistic cohorts: the way we talk to each other online is shaped more by ...
  • Maciej Kuczyński
    a book about internet grammar? yes pleaseguess i should learn my lesson from it and start writing like this lolperhaps not but the book itself was really informative and i agree with almost everything the author saidher description of semi and full internet people is spot oni could totally assign people of my age into one or the other categoryi myself am the full internet person of course loli listened to the audiobook which was narrated by the a...