From Riverhead Books (Penguin, US) and Harvill Secker/Vintage (Random House, UK), available in hardcover, audiobook, ebook, & paperback!

“Gretchen McCulloch is the internet’s favorite linguist, và this book is essential reading. Reading her work is like suddenly being able to lớn see the matrix.” —Jonny Sun, tác giả of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too

Because internet is for anyone who’s ever puzzled over how to lớn punctuate a text message or wondered where memes come from. It’s the perfect book for understanding how the mạng internet is changing the English language, why that’s a good thing, & what our online interactions reveal about who we are.

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Language is humanity’s most spectacular open-source project, & the internet is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before. Mạng internet conversations are structured by the shape of our apps and platforms, from the grammar of status updates lớn the protocols of comments và
replies. Linguistically inventive online communities spread new slang and jargon with dizzying speed. What’s more, social truyền thông is a vast laboratory of unedited, unfiltered words where we can watch language evolve in real time.

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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 mạng 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 & doggo made them more likely lớn spread.

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Get the book

You can get Because Internet in person or on the website of your favourite local bookstore, or follow one of the links below:

You can buy signed copies through Argo Bookshop in Montreal, a fantastic indie bookstore which I keep stocked in signed copies if you happen lớn be in Montreal, and which is also happy khổng lồ ship internationally, at your expense (just showroom a note when you kiểm tra out if you want it personalized lớn a particular name!)

Or sign up for my monthly linguistics thư điện tử newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any book news on social truyền thông media and find out when a Because Internet event may be happening near you!


Because internet was published in Japanese in 2022, translated by Toshio Chiba. You can get it at Filmart or

What people think

Because Internet is a thủ đô new york Times bestseller!

Named a Best Book of 2019 by Esquire, Real Simple, TIME, The Washington Post, BookPage, Washington Independent reviews of Books, Vox, & Amazon.

A Wired Must-Read Book of Summer

“McCulloch is such a disarming writer — lucid, friendly, unequivocally excited about her subject — that I began lớn marvel at the flexibility of the online language she describes, with its numerous shades of subtlety.” —The thành phố new york Times


“Gretchen McCulloch is the internet’s favorite linguist, và this book is essential reading. Reading her work is lượt thích suddenly being able lớn see the matrix. She explains the hows and the whys of the ways we talk online with the deepest empathy, understanding, & compassion.” —Jonny Sun, author of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too

“McCulloch’s book is a good start in guiding readers khổng lồ consider the wild language of the mạng internet as a thing of wonder—a valuable feature, not a bug.” —The Wall Street Journal

effervescent study of how the digital world is transfiguring English. . . . almost political thesis—the more voices, the better—rebukes both the élitism of traditional grammar snobs and the cliquishness of, say, Tumblr. It’s a vision of language as one way lớn make room for one another.” —The New Yorker

“Lively and wide-ranging.” —NPR

“We know lols, emojis & hashtags are altering our discourse. Linguist McCulloch counts—and revels in—the ways. Give it khổng lồ your favorite stickler.” —People

“Rather than obsessing about what the internet is doing lớn language, largely focuses on what can be learned about language from the internet. . . . McCulloch’s book is about the birth of a new medium.” —The Economist

“A well-researched retort khổng lồ grumpy grammarians who think công nghệ is turning kids into lazy, inarticulate drivelers.” —Time

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

“Part Linguistics 101, part social history of the internet, Because internet revels in digital language deconstruction, exploring not just the evolving language of online informal…More importantly, she doesn’t just appreciate mạng internet language, she celebrates it.” —The Ringer

“It doesn’t matter if you’re baffled by the linguistics of the internet or you’re the first person to giới thiệu memes with your friends; this book is so absorbing it will immediately draw you in.” —PopSugar

“Sometimes it seems like the internet is a seething brew of ugliness and misery. So it’s nice to lớn 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 lớn Read this Summer”

“McCulloch lays out the ways in which online lingo, from emojis khổng lồ GIFs khổng lồ acronyms like “lol” and “omg,” has become a vital part of modern communication. It’s also an analog window into how the evolution of digital communication mirrors the shifts in word usage that have happened over generations.” —Wired, “Must-Read Books of Summer”

“Gretchen McCulloch’s Because Internet is not your English teacher’s grammar guide—not even close. Self-described mạng internet linguist McCulloch traces how the website has changed the way we communicate—whether through emoji, lowercase letters. Or mèo memes—and makes a compelling, entertaining argument that this change is good for the English language as a whole.” —Real Simple

“In prose at once scholarly & user-friendly, McCulloch unpacks the evolution of language in the digital age, providing a comprehensive survey of everything from the secret language of emojis lớn the appeal of animal memes.” —Esquire

“English’s great strength is its informality and the mạng internet has created a golden age for studying this flexibility: McCulloch’s lively và delightful survey of these new findings is a must for anyone who loves language in all its expressive forms.” —Cory Doctorow

“A funny và fascinating examination of the evolution of language in the digital age.” —Publishers Weekly

“An insightful analysis of language and the internet of right now, in-depth yet accessible lớn any mạng internet generation.” —Booklist

“A fun read for mạng internet people of all generations….Recommended for web và language nerds alike, encompassing illuminating facts on the origin of acronyms, memes, & digital tone of voice.” —Library Journal  “Because Internet is a rare gem: a groundbreaking scholarly study that’s also approachable, personable, và funny. McCulloch guides the reader through the seeming disorder of internet-influenced communications and deftly contextualizes all of it: memes & gifs, emoji & emoticons, weird punctuation & no punctuation. Her enthusiasm for language is matched by her command over the subject; if you’re worried that the mạng internet has killed language, McCulloch’s extensive examination will convince you otherwise. Because Internet is an absolute unit: a chất lượng linguistic study, a history of the internet, a how-to, và an encouragement that the omgs & cat pictures have only brought us closer together.” —Kory Stamper, author of Word by Word

“Because Internet is the most up-to-date và comprehensive guide to the way informal mạng internet language has evolved và 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, & it’s her insightful interpretations that give this book its special appeal.” —David Crystal, author of Shakespeare’s Words and How Language Works

“Because Internet is a joyful exploration of the newest creative upswell of English—if you want khổng lồ understand why you love emoji, nói qua memes, và don’t make a sound when lol-ing, you need this book!” —Erin McKean, founder of the online dictionary

“Gretchen McCulloch has pulled off the feat of answering every question anyone today of any age has about how the mạng internet has transformed the way we use language every day. Just try putting this book down.” —John McWhorter, tác giả of Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue and Words on the Move