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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful introductory book combining sociolinguistics and the Internet
I have often referred to this book in my studies on computer-mediated communication; because it blends sociolinguistics with case studies (as one reviewer has pointed out, Crystal's own experience), it is useful for those interested in CMC and language use, and a quick look at the bibliography reveals further points of discussion and research. Major theorists, such as...
Published on 6 May 2008 by Paige

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong on language, weaker on the internet
This book explores how we use language in the internet. it begins with a general introduction, describing lingusitics in general and sociolinguistics in particular. It discusses the internet in general and four particular aspects - email, chatgroups, virtual worlds (in multiplayer games) and the web.
The author clearly knows sociolinguistics very well and it is...
Published on 13 Mar 2005


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong on language, weaker on the internet, 13 Mar 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Language and the Internet (Hardcover)
This book explores how we use language in the internet. it begins with a general introduction, describing lingusitics in general and sociolinguistics in particular. It discusses the internet in general and four particular aspects - email, chatgroups, virtual worlds (in multiplayer games) and the web.
The author clearly knows sociolinguistics very well and it is worthwhile reading the book just for that. However, his knowledge of the internet is weaker and often he relies on secondhand information that he is not able to evaluate well. This shows up in some of the more extensive quotes, repeated without much critical evaluation. For example, he frequently quotes 'Wired Style', only once (I think) refers to the Jargon File (without even working out who esr is) and doesn't mention RFC 1855.
There is not much original research here. For example, the chapter on email is based mainly on the author's own email correspondence, which is bound to be atypical. It would have been much more interesting to see if different communities, for example sampled from mailing lists, really used different varieties of language.
In some places it would be hard to distinguish between the language used in the internet and the language used by social scientists to describe the internet, between 'trolling' or 'boxen' and 'computer mediated communication' or 'cyberculture'. In others the author seemed unaware of features of the internet. For example, he does not seem to be aware that users can control how web pages appear or list emails by thread. Occasionally he gets terms wrong.
This is not a book to buy if you wish to learn the language (or rather languages) of the internet, but it is a very readable introduction to sociolinguistics applied to technology with some very plausible conclusions about where and how the internet will affect our use of language.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful introductory book combining sociolinguistics and the Internet, 6 May 2008
I have often referred to this book in my studies on computer-mediated communication; because it blends sociolinguistics with case studies (as one reviewer has pointed out, Crystal's own experience), it is useful for those interested in CMC and language use, and a quick look at the bibliography reveals further points of discussion and research. Major theorists, such as Grice (and his maxims of conversation) are mentioned, and even though Crystal says that maxims and conventions are in the process of being adapted and will likely continue to be adapted, it serves as a 'jumping-off point' for what the person's own interests of study are. I, for one, found the tables of spoken and written language criteria, as applied to several "Netspeak" media forms, quite elucidating.

I found this book reasonably approachable, and the examples given help 'bridge the gap' between those in communications or language studies and those who might only have a passing interest or knowledge and are looking for more information.
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4 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book was a great help towards my internet studies, 8 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Language and the Internet (Hardcover)
The areas covered within this superbly authorthed book luckily appeared to match the criteria within my syllabus. The information was well presented with interesting diagrams and information which made it far more easier than other books to understand. Im am sure that this source of information could be credited towards my understanding of the course i was taking at the time.
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Language and the Internet
Language and the Internet by David Crystal (Hardcover - 20 Sep 2001)
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