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LINGUIST List 21.786

Mon Feb 15 2010

Books: Sociolinguistics: Baron

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <fatemehlinguistlist.org>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
        1.    Elyse Turr, Always On: Baron

Message 1: Always On: Baron
Date: 22-Dec-2009
From: Elyse Turr <elyse.turroup.com>
Subject: Always On: Baron
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Title: Always On
Subtitle: Language in an Online and Mobile World
Published: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Author: Naomi S Baron
Paperback: ISBN: 9780199735440 Pages: 304 Price: U.S. $ 18.95

In "Always On," Naomi S. Baron reveals that online and mobile technologies
--including instant messaging, cell phones, multitasking, Facebooks, blogs,
and wikis --are profoundly influencing how we read and write, speak and
listen, but not in the ways we might suppose.

Baron draws on a decade of research to provide an eye-opening look at
language in an online and mobile world. She reveals for instance that
email, IM, and text messaging have had surprisingly little impact on
student writing. Electronic media has magnified the laid-back "whatever"
attitude toward formal writing that young people everywhere have embraced,
but it is not a cause of it. A more troubling trend, according to Baron, is
the myriad of ways in which we block incoming calls on our mobile phones.
Our ability to decide who to talk to, she argues, is likely to be among the
most lasting influences that information technology has upon the ways we
communicate with one another. Moreover, as more and more people are "always
on" one technology or another--whether communicating, working, or just
surfing the web or playing games we have to ask what kind of people do we
become, as individuals and as family members or friends, if the
relationships we form must increasingly compete for our attention with
digital media?

Our 300-year-old written culture is on the verge of redefinition, Baron
notes. It's up to us to determine how and when we use language
technologies, and to weigh the personal and social benefits --and costs--of
being "always on." This engaging and lucidly-crafted book gives us the
tools for taking on these challenges.

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Written In: English (eng )

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