A Linguistic Celebration of the Digital World

Many new words have entered our lexicon as the use of internet has increased. We frequently post things on Facebook, google for information and tweet our lives.The world of words is fascinating. There is a story behind each word: the context in which it was coined, the way it gained currency (or not) and how its meaning changed over the years (or not). British author Tom Chatfield tells 100 such stories from the field of technology in 100 succinct chapters in his book Netymology.

Netymology_Book

My copy of the book.

The book is full with interesting tidbits; eg in the chapter about lolcats, Chatfield tells us that a lolcat which looks like Hitler is called kitler. I couldn’t help but giggle when I read this. There are many such instances in the book where you find it hard to contain your laugh. Chatfield weaves together the fascinating worlds of technology and linguistics in this book with underlying wit, sarcasm and humour in his effortless style.

The kitler meme.

The kitler meme.

The book is a light read for a lazy weekend. Do not expect it to thrill you with Chomskyan insights on linguistics. Also, do not pick it up if you do not find anything amusing in the transformation of Google into google. This book will bore the Luddites too. Netymology is strictly for curious-minded word lovers who also know that cookies aren’t always delicious objects.

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