Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language
Let me preface this by saying that if you’re baffled by internet culture and/or internet language, this is a fantastic book for you. It has stuff like memes, emojis, and text language down, complete with brief yet relevant histories written in a friendly-but-smart tone that stirs in its own irreverent internet-y language from time to time. McCulloch’s book is meticulously researched–a particular challenge with internet culture, which is ephemeral and ever-changing–as well as thorough and accessible.
If you’re decently versed in memes and textspeak, etc., you’ll find a good portion of the book discusses things you already know. But here and there you’ll find a gem–for me, it was learning that Westerners tend to look to the mouth, while the Japanese (progenitors of a lot of texting and internet culture) focus on the eyes when seeking to read emotion. Hence (at least in part) those big old anime eyes.
This is a book directed toward a lay audience, and it assumes ignorance of many of its topics. That’s perfect for readers new to linguistics and/or internet-y stuff. It’s a bit slow, however, if you’re familiar with such things.
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