Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World

Paperback | April 11, 2010

byNaomi Baron

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In Always On, Naomi S. Baron reveals that online and mobile technologies - including instant messaging, cell phones, multitasking, Facebook, 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 ofresearch 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 youngpeople everywhere have embraced, but it is not a cause of it. A more troubling trend, according to Baron, is the myriad ways in which we block incoming IMs, camouflage ourselves on Facebook, and use ring tones or caller ID to screen incoming calls on our mobile phones. Our ability to decide who totalk 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 we are becoming, as individuals and as family members or friends, if the relationships we form must increasingly compete for our attention with digital media.

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From the Publisher

In Always On, Naomi S. Baron reveals that online and mobile technologies - including instant messaging, cell phones, multitasking, Facebook, 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 ofresearch to provide an eye-opening look at la...

Naomi S. Baron is Professor of Linguistics at American University in Washington, DC. A leading authority on language use in the age of the computer, she has studied instant messaging, text messaging, mobile phone practices, multitasking behavior, and Facebook usage by American college students, along with cross-cultural mobile phone u...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.1 × 6.1 × 0.8 inPublished:April 11, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199735441

ISBN - 13:9780199735440

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Email to Your Brain: Language in an Online and Mobile World2. Language Online: The Basics3. Controlling the Volume: Everyone a Language Czar4. Are Instant Messages Speech? The World of IM5. My Best Day: Managing nullBuddiesnull and nullFriendsnull6. Having Your Say: Blogs and Beyond7. Going Mobile: Cell Phones in Context8. nullWhatevernull: Is the Internet Destroying Language?9. Gresham's Ghost: Challenges to Written Culture10. The People We Become: Costs of Being Always On

Editorial Reviews

"Baron helped us understand the effect of email on language in her prize-winning book Alphabet to Email. Now she uses the same keen insight and crackling good prose to examine instant messaging, mobile based text messages, online social networking, and the effects electronically mediatedcommunication is having upon our language and upon ourselves." --Rich Ling, Senior Research Scientist, Telenor RandD, author of The Mobile Connection.