Language, editing, and the Internet

These links explore how language and editing play out on the Internet, in terms of what languages people use, how “correctly” (or not) they use them, how this might be changing, and what this might mean for the future.  There are also links exploring the concept of the Internet itself from a historical perspective.

Top Ten Internet Languages:

An interesting Wikipedia article on the use of English as the global language of computing, and some of its effects:

A short discussion (by me, from our second, non-deleted blog, and written for Darren Wershler’s Media Poetics class) about “impossible technology” and the idea that the Internet has been theorized about forever in various forms, including Mazolarri’s 14th century idea of the Cymbalon, a machina electrica in which information is transmitted across distance by sparks of energy:

Tom Standage’s book The Victorian Internet, which explores the idea of the invention of the telegraph being a far more significant event culturally, cognitively, and historically, than the invention of the Internet (a quantitative vs. a qualitative shift):

The TEI series of guiding questions for vettors of print and electronic editions (includes references to W.W. Greg and his ideas on editing vs. authoring):

A page that links to 19 articles exploring why spelling and grammar is so poor on the Internet:

A random forum discussion about Internet grammar:

…and a slightly more “highbrow” version of the same debate:

If you’re looking for an example of a professional news site that makes constant mistakes in grammar and spelling, this is it:

The site that began the original LOLcatz meme, and that both celebrates and lampoons the lack of grammar on the Internet:


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