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Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language
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Archive: Other Books > [Poll Ballot] Because Internet - 4 stars

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forsanolim | 468 comments "When I discovered linguistics, I learned that language isn't just a squidgy mess of opinions and impressions: there are real patterns here that I've been subconsciously following all along! Even if we don't know them all yet, they're fundamentally knowable, and there's a whole community of people whose mission it is to figure them out."

Linguistics is my academic discipline (and I'll officially be starting grad school in it next year!), and I've been familiar with Gretchen McCulloch's writing for a while, so I've been looking forward to reading this book for a while. In this book, she discusses various forms of language and community on the internet, paying particular attention to topics like different generations' usage of capitalization and typography (from ALL CAPS to minimalist typography to l e n g t h e n i n g, ~*~*sparkle text*~*~ and other patterns) to memes to emoji. As part of this, she also discusses (and I particularly enjoyed this) the history of the internet and of the phenomena that she focuses on.

Because of my academic focus, I was morally obligated to enjoy this book; but I also did legitimately find it really interesting above and beyond that. I will say that I think I would have found parts more interesting if I felt a stronger connection to various forms of internet community--though I'm squarely in the internet-meme age group, for instance, I've never been particularly meme-savvy, and (perhaps relatedly) I'm not generally as tuned in to social media as others around my age. Still, though, I thought that this book was very interesting and thorough, and I'm glad that I read it!

message 2: by Hebah (new) - added it

Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments I've had my eye on this one. Was it an approachable writing style for someone not terribly into dry academic prose?

forsanolim | 468 comments Hebah wrote: "I've had my eye on this one. Was it an approachable writing style for someone not terribly into dry academic prose?"

Yeah, I think so! It's definitely very conversational/not at all academic-like in terms of prose, I don't think.

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