Language and the Internet

Language and the Internet

According to popular mythology, the Internet will be bad for the future of language--technospeak will rule, standards will be lost, and creativity diminished as globalization imposes sameness. David Crystal, one of the foremost authorities on language, argues the reverse in his new book: that the Internet is enabling a dramatic expansion of the range and variety of language and is providing unprecedented opportunities for personal creativity. In order to grow and be maintained as a linguistic medium, the principles and standards of the Internet must evolve--and they will be very different from other mediums. Is the Internet a revolution? Is it a linguistic revolution? Beyond the visual panache of the presentation on a screen, the Internet's "linguistic" character is immediately obvious to anyone online. As the Internet has become incorporated into our lives, it is becoming clearer how it is being shaped by and is adapting language and languages. Language and the Internet is the first book by a language expert on the linguistic aspects of the Internet. Opening up linguistic issues for a general readership, Crystal argues that "netspeak" is a radically new linguistic medium that we cannot ignore. David Crystal is one of the foremost authorities on language, and as editor of the Cambridge Encyclopedia he has used the Internet for research purposes from its earliest manifestations. His work for the technology company Classification Data Limited has involved him in the development of an information classification system with several Internet applications, and he has extensive professional experience of Web issues. Crystal is author of several books with Cambridge, including the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (1997), Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (1995), English as a Global Language (1997), and Langugage Death (2000) and Words on Words (University of Chicago, 2000) . An internationally renowned writer, journal editor, lecturer and broadcaster, he received an OBE in 1995 for his services to the English language. His edited books include The Cambridge Encyclopedia (Fourth Edition, 2000) The Cambridge Paperback Encyclopedia (Third Edition, 1999), The Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia (Second Edition, 1997) and The Cambridge Factfinder ( Fourth Edition, 2000).


"This is an academic review, well referenced and footnoted, but Crystal's optimism and good humor abound. He has clarified many aspects of the styles and abbreviations one is likely to meet in e-communication, and he is documenting them, rather than trying to influence the style." The Times of Acadiana

"This book provides an important look at how the Internet has affected our use of language. To my knowledge, there are no other comparable books available on this subject. Issues of language are certainly treated in many other books about the Internet, but this one features linguistics as its main topic. The book will be an important contribution." Patricia Wallace, Ph.D., Director, Information Services and Instructional Technologies Center for Talented Youth, The John Hopkins University Author, The Psychology and the Internet

"This is only the first snapshot of an amazingly dynamic field, but it provides some of the groundwork indispensable to future research." su Library Journal

"Provides some of the groundwork indispensable to future research. Recommended for larger public libraries and all academic collections." Library Journal

"Crystal's book usefully puts into focus the linguistic experiences we're all having as we adjust to the new medium." San Jose Mercury News

"Witty, thoughtful..." Scientific American

"David Crystal notes a delicious irony in his new book Language and the Internet." Washington Times Oct 2001

"Wonderfully readable..." Netsurfer Digest Nov 2001

"A useful synthesis for undergraduates and general readers..." CHOICE

"Engaging and provocative..." Nature

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