Reviews

  • "McCulloch’s book is a good start in guiding readers to consider the wild language of the internet as a thing of wonder—a valuable feature, not a bug."

    Wall Street Journal
  • "Covers the backstory of how tildes became the punctuation mark for ~whimsy and sarcasm~...and when we started repeating certainnnnn lettersssssssss for emphasis"

    Buzzfeed
  • "In prose at once scholarly and user-friendly, McCulloch unpacks the evolution of language in the digital age, providing a comprehensive survey of everything from the secret language of emojis to the appeal of animal memes."

    Esquire
  • "McCulloch is such a disarming writer - lucid, friendly, unequivocally excited about her subject"

    New York Times
  • "Rather than obsessing about what the internet is doing to language, [Because Internet] largely focuses on what can be learned about language from the internet. . . . McCulloch's book is about the birth of a new medium."

    Economist
  • "An effervescent study of how the digital world is transfiguring English"

    The New Yorker
  • "A compelling narrative rich with examples from her own online activities, a healthy dose of humor, and plenty of cat memes… the breadth of topics covered—from conversation analysis to meme culture to the development of texting as we now know it—makes this book useful, engaging, and enjoyable."

    Science
  • "Sometimes it seems like the internet is a seething brew of ugliness and misery. So it's nice to remember that, as well as the lawless drudgery, there are complex human systems that, intentional or not, create something totally new. Internet linguist (damn!) Gretchen McCulloch explores the ever-changing language of online."

    Elle, 30 Best Books to Read this Summer
  • "A well-researched retort to grumpy grammarians who think technology is turning kids into lazy, inarticulate drivelers."

    Time
  • "Because Internet is the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to the way informal internet language has evolved and is evolving. Its historical perspective will illuminate every generation of internet users: oldies will get a clear picture of what young people are up to; younglings will discover the origins of their latest linguistic fashions. Gretchen McCulloch writes with great common sense, an eye for the apt illustration, an appealing sense of humour, and a real concern for explanation. She doesn't just describe language trends: she investigates why they've taken place, and it's her insightful interpretations that give this book its special appeal."

    David Crystal