1st Edition

Alphabet to Email How Written English Evolved and Where It's Heading

By Naomi S. Baron Copyright 2000
    336 Pages
    by Routledge

    330 Pages
    by Routledge

    In Alphabet to Email Naomi Baron takes us on a fascinating and often entertaining journey through the history of the English language, showing how technology - especially email - is gradually stripping language of its formality.
    Drawing together strands of thinking about writing, speech, pedagogy, technology, and globalization, Naomi Baron explores the ever-changing relationship between speech and writing and considers the implications of current language trends on the future of written English.
    Alphabet to Email will appeal to anyone who is curious about how the English language has changed over the centuries and where it might be going.

    Preface 1.Robin Hood's Retort 2.Legitimating Written English 3.Who Writes, Who Reads, and Why 4.Setting Standards 5.The Rise of English Comp 6.Commas and Canaries 7.What Remington Thought 8.Language at a Distance 9.Why the Jury's Still Out on Email 10.Epilogue: Destiny or Choice Notes Bibliography Index


    Naomi S. Baron is Professor of Linguistics and Chair of the Department of Language and Foreign Studies at American University. She is the author of five previous books about language, including Growing Up With Language: How children learn to talk (Addison-Wesley, 1992).

    'Naomi Baron has succeeded in writing a fascinating yet erudite, and quite compact, history that draws together threads from a bewildering variety of sources.' - Pam Le Gassick, Society of Indexers

    'At one level, Alphabet to Email is a fascinating chronological history of written English; at another, it is a carefully argued case for preserving the distinctions between oral and written language.' - Ilana Snyder, Journal of Sociolinguistics