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by David Crystal

Download Language and the Internet eBook
David Crystal
Networking & Cloud Computing
Cambridge University Press (September 24, 2001)
282 pages
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The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom. The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA 477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia Ruiz de Alarcón 13, 28014 Madrid, Spain Dock House, The Waterfront, Cape Town 8001, South Africa. First published in printed format 2001.

Cambridge: CUP, 2006), 2nd edn, ix + 316 pp. 0521868599. Hilary Crystal Ben Crystal Youtube Twitter Blogger.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Source: Panorama - Canberra Times. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The book includes a number of useful tables. However, I regretted the absence of illustrations.

David Crystal, one of the world's eminent linguists, has given us a desperately-needed academic resource .

David Crystal, one of the world's eminent linguists, has given us a desperately-needed academic resource: this text. While the book is relatively old (2001) we did not find it dated because of the strength of his original analysis.

1. The Stories of English.

In this book, David Crystal argues the reverse: that the Internet has encouraged a dramatic expansion in. .

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).
  • Akelevar
David Crystal, one of the world's eminent linguists, has given us a desperately-needed academic resource: this text. Although, as other reviewers have pointed out, some of the conclusions drawn are fairly obvious, this text is useful to have such conclusions stated concisely, in a single location, by a recognised linguist.
The book discusses the effects of the Internet on language, specifically English. Anyone who has spent any length of time online has noted that the language used online is a strange mix of formal and informal, abbreviations and highly-specialised jargon. How does this effect the language as a whole? Crystal does not pretend to answer this question, but raises questions for later research.
As with any book that discusses an aspect of the Internet, some pieces of the book are out-of-date. Search engines are more robust than when Crystal surveyed them. MUDs are essentially dead, replaced in part by massively-multiplayer online games that have their own linguistic ramifications.
In all, this book is an interesting and clearly-written broad introduction to the application of linguistics to the Internet. It is not an advanced text, although the nearly-exhaustive footnotes and citations are an excellent resource for a reader who would like to learn more.
  • Hono
Crystal is not only one of the most important authorities in this field, but also one of the few to seriously analyze the impact of the Internet from a linguistic perspective. In Language and the Internet we feel that we have his most important relevant book insofar as the Internet is concerned. While the book is relatively old (2001) we did not find it dated because of the strength of his original analysis. Part of the strength of the work is its breadth. Crystal points out that the Internet is not, in fact, a single medium, but the technology through which a number of linguistically distinguishable dialects such as email and chat rooms are conveyed to the reader...

For a full review see Interface, Volume 5, Issue 1.
  • Gir
Our digital world requires an equally adaptable language that bridges the gap between real world communication and our digital counterparts. Language and the Internet suggests that that gap is narrowing into a universal global entity. Like the telegraph, television, newspaper and other broadcasting inventions to appear within the last few centuries, the advent of the Internet takes the prefix "tele" to a whole new communicative level. "To broadcast over a distance" may be using the Grecian combining form a little too lightly. In today's Twitterverse, Facebook culture and blogosphere, conventional linguistic style and use have been transformed into what David Crystal has adeptly termed "Netspeak." Crystal acknowledges that linguistic consequences exists within the net, (which is by now a dated term) but the focus of Language and the Internet aims to investigate how the internet has impacted our perception and use of language on a global scale. The technologized language we use to communicate is constantly being augmented, dissected, invented and re-invented. These practices, in the eyes of many are a disastrous force especially in the wake of the "texting" age.
What I find most interesting about Crystal's approach to the early netspeak of chatrooms and electronic conferencing is that his research aims to reclaim the usefulness of linguistic adaptation. Through his scholarly citations, he discusses the formations of digital communities known as hyperpersonal vs. interpersonal or (face to face.) The use of these speech communities work to form an inclusive realm of "Netizens" or net/web users. The language expressed is comparable to regional dialects in that they are only accepted by certain people in certain locales. As chatrooms, e-mail and chat clients began as an early medium for hyperpersonal interactions, they have since blossomed into a cultural psycho-social phenomenon in which creativity is at the heart. Sure there is a lack of linguistic structure, form and spelling but is that necessarily a bad thing amongst new studies that suggest children may be less creative and less stimulated than ever before. For those who choose to embrace the digital era, there are might be more to say in terms of social progress than for those who reject it.
Yes, like many of the other reviews mentioned Language and the Internet can feel dated even though many of these studies have taken place within the last two decades. However many ways to interpret the material that Crystal presents, it is important to understand that the culmination of research highlights in one way or another the progressive tendencies of human nature. The only reason this serves as an introductory piece because of the principles of Moore's Law which states that the amount of processors on affordable CPU'S will double every two years. Within the past 10 years, the number of transistors in CPU'S has gone from 37.5 million to over 2.5 billion. While this type of tech speak is not contained in Crystal's account of digital language, it is an intriguing arena for debate. While written language has only gone though 3 revolutions over thousands of years, the digital revolution changes almost daily. The juxtaposition of language and digital technology opens up an intriguing discussion that begins more than a decade ago in Language and the Internet.
To add fuel to the fire, as I write this review, many of the commonly used terms we use today that pertain to the Internet are highlighted for spell check. As dictionaries add nearly 800 words a year, the majority of them will most certainly be Internet related.
My one major concern for this text is that as Moore's Law continues its reign on enabling better, faster and more efficient technologies, the terminology and certain examples will be obsolete and incredibly distant to even the current generation of young Internet users. For those who have been around during the dotcom era, this is a must read exploration into the technologized and digital direction that global language is taking.
  • Tygralbine
I read it. I really did. It was painful.
Not because David can't communicate, his writing is easy and sometimes fun. At no point was content hard to get through - what stunk was having to read the book cover to cover before I grasped the book's true value - as a weapon.
As another reviewer pointed out, most of the "conclusions" are what some may call "no brainers." Like, duh! The truest value this book provides is that its hard bound, written by "the guy who wrote the Cambridge dictionary," and therefore immutable.
Think about it. How often do we get into subjective tug-o-wars regarding what users are or are not doing? This book is hard bound, written by a "world famous linguist," and thus proves whatever point I'm trying to make, depending upon which direction the weapon is pointing.
I know it's slimy. I don't care. Its a tool, allowing me to quell schedule-breaking controversy, and as a reference to other research (which is much appreciated!)
So for that reason the book is well worth the investment.