How and Why the Internet Is Changing Language

Gretchen McCulloch studies how people use language on the internet, and today we talked about her new book, "Because Internet." I bet you'll recognize yourself or your friends in her insights. 

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read
Episode #707

In this interview with Gretchen McCulloch of the All Things Linguistic blog and the podcast Lingthusiasm, we talked about Gretchen's new book, "Because Internet." These are the major things we talked about:

Why internet language isn't a sign of laziness.

Why people tend to lowercase more words when writing on a digital medium.

Why you probably love words your family makes up but hate words your boss makes up.

Why Mark Twain wasn't sure about the telephone.

Why older people will answer a phone call during dinner but younger people will text.

Why the weak ties of the internet make language change faster than it used to.

Why people edit keysmashes.

Why it's possible to use emoji ungrammatically.

What we can learn from access to the informal language databases online.

How Gretchen created a special meaning for the word "Dijon."

How emoji are like gestures.

You can listen to the entire interview by clicking the player above or by finding the podcast on any podcasting app, but if you prefer to read it, we also have a complete (rough) transcript.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.