Gretchen McCulloch

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Gretchen McCulloch
Academic background
Alma materMcGill University (MA)
Academic work
Sub-disciplineInternet linguistics

Gretchen McCulloch is a Canadian Internet linguist. On her blog and her podcast, "Lingthusiasm", she offers linguistic analysis of online communication such as internet memes, emoji and instant messaging. She writes regularly for Wired and previously did so for The Toast. In 2019, she published a book on internet linguistics, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language.


McCulloch obtained a master's degree in linguistics at McGill University.[1]


McCulloch's writing online focuses on internet linguistics, a field first advocated by David Crystal. On her blog, she regularly discusses trends in use of English words, phrases and emoji in online communications as well as offering analysis of language form used in internet communications.[2] She was a resident writer on linguistics at feminist website The Toast, where in 2014 she wrote an article analyzing the grammar of the doge meme.[3] This article received coverage on BBC Radio 4, where McCulloch was interviewed on the subject by Evan Davis.[4]

In 2019, McCulloch's first book, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, was published by Riverhead Books. The book explores the history of online communication in English as well as the linguistic trends which have emerged within it over the years,[5] as well as the effect such communication might have on the English language as a whole.[6][7] The book received critical acclaim from The New York Times.[8]


  1. ^ McCulloch, Gretchen. "Biography". Gretchen McCulloch. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  2. ^ McKelvey, Cynthia (2016). "How the Internet is changing the English language". Daily Dot. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  3. ^ McCulloch, Gretchen. "A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Doge. Wow". The Toast. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  4. ^ Williams, Rhiannon (2014). "Radio 4: stop trying to intellectualise Doge. Wow". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  5. ^ Johnston, Kjerstin. "How the Internet Changed Language—for the Better". The Ringer. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  6. ^ Yu, Mallory; Kopp, Emily. "Our Language Is Evolving, 'Because Internet'". NPR. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  7. ^ Morton, Becky. "Is the full stop rude when used on WhatsApp?". BBC News. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  8. ^ Szalai, Jennifer. "Why Has Language Changed So Much So Fast? 'Because Internet'". New York Times. Retrieved 2 August 2019.

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