You may have heard me mention once or twice that I’m really into linguistics. So into it, in fact, that it’s what my degree is in. I really love reading nonfiction about linguistics, but I’m often left disappointed. When I saw Because Internet pop up on my library’s “recently added” shelf, I couldn’t resist. I’ll admit that I was a tad skeptical. I mean… Because Internet is a pretty risky title. It’s either going to be cringy or amazing.
I’m happy to report that this book definitely falls at the “amazing” end up that spectrum.
Ever since I was an undergrad in my first Intro to Linguistics course, modern linguistics has intrigued me. I love how language changes over time, but there was never a course on the linguistics of the internet back then. This book was like a crash course in everything I find fascinating.
If you’ve ever wondered about the linguistics of…
- ~*sparkle punctuation*~
- Tumblr Emphasis™
- lolcats, doge, and snek
- text-based emoticons and emoji
- keyboard smashes
- friendly vs. passive aggressive texts
- or, really, almost anything else you could think of
… you’ll probably enjoy this book. If you’re a hardcore prescriptivist (someone who lives by language rule books and lectures people online about ending sentences with prepositions and splitting infinitives), you probably won’t enjoy it as much. McCulloch takes the language of the internet very seriously in this book and presents an in-depth analysis of its evolution.
I was blown away by not only how informative this book was, but also how much I enjoyed it! Excuse me while I go find five hundred more books to read on linguistics.
Have you read Because Internet? Do you have any interest in linguistics?
Let’s talk in the comments!