I spent many hours this month in a soundbooth, recording my own audiobook for Because Internet! Unsurprisingly, doing all this talking gave me some linguistic thoughts, which I tweeted about here, including finally needing to take a side on the gif pronunciation wars, how to read keysmash out loud, loll versus ell oh ell, mIxEd CaPiTaLiZaTiOn, reading emoji out loud, putting on voices, linguist flexes, writing versus speaking, and my favourite linguist name fact. (Blog post version.)
The Because Internet audiobook is available on July 23, the same day as the hardcover and ebook versions, and you can preorder the audiobook on many platforms by following the links here!
Reviews are starting to come in for Because Internet: trade reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly (starred), and on recommended summer book lists for Elle Magazine, Esquire and Wired. Here’s an excerpt from PW:
McCulloch, writer of the “Resident Linguist” column for Wired and podcast cohost of Lingthusiasm, debuts with a funny and fascinating examination of the evolution of language in the digital age. Exploring everything from capitalization and punctuation to emojis and gifs, her book breaks down the structure of “internet language” in a precise and engaging way.
This month’s main episode of Lingthusiasm was You heard about it, but I was there – evidentiality (it also comes in a meme version), and the bonus episode was about animal communication. We also introduced new Lingthusiasm merch! Including esoteric symbols scarves, mugs, and notebooks, mugs and notebooks of our IPA scarf and tree diagram scarf designs, and onesies saying Little Longitudinal Language Acquisition Project. (Plus: a twitter thread about the obscure symbols fandom.)
My BAHfest talk about weird English spelling reform is now online. Recommended if you like Unicode jokes.
- New favourite word: psithurism, the rustling of leaves moved by the wind
- Birdsong apps are great
- A relationship between faceblindness and letter recognition ability
- New favourite example of the passive-aggressive potential of the smiley face :)
- The word “smackerel”
- Your internet linguistics questions that Because Internet will answer
Selected blog posts:
- He’s not your man. He’s Proto-Indo-European
- Heaven’s Vault, a videogame about decoding an ancient language
- xkcd: “the longer you have to wait for the ‘but’…” and Linear A/B testing
- Word length in Greenlandic
- Affixes, explained by koalas
- A base-27 counting system on the human body
- Internet linguistics reading list from Maria Heath
This photo is from the soundbooth where I recorded the Because Internet audiobook, complete with MANY BEVERAGES.