Book: Because Internet

Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language book cover
Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language

From Riverhead Books (Penguin) on July 23, 2019.

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 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.

Because Internet is essential reading 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 age is changing the English language, why that’s a good thing, and what our online interactions reveal about who we are.


Make Because Internet show up as a delightful surprise for your future self by preordering it! You can preorder in person or on the website of your favourite local indie bookstore, or follow one of the links below:

You can preorder signed copies through Argo Bookshop in Montreal, a fantastic indie bookstore which is happy to ship internationally (just add a note when you check out if you want it personalized to a particular name!)

Or sign up for the book’s email list to make sure you don’t miss it on social media and find out when a Because Internet event may be happening near you!

Media: contact Shailyn Tavella for information on review copies and interviews. High-res version of the cover and author photo may be downloaded below (right click and open in new window).

Alternate formats for this page: Download Because Internet book as pdf and Download Because Internet book as epub.