I have officially entered the brave new world of e-books with a popularly-priced ($3.99!) collection of some of my pieces on language, first published in Slate, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other fine publications. It’s called (take a deep breath) You Need to Read This: The Death of the Imperative Mode, the Rise of the American Glottal Stop, the Bizarre Popularity of “Amongst,” and Other Cuckoo Things That Have Happened to the English Language.
(Funny story about that title. Back in 2005, I wrote an essay for the New York Times Book Review about the odd trend of extremely long subtitles. One example I gave was Jeff Pearlman’s recently published The Bad Guys Won! A Season of Brawling, Boozing, Bimbo Chasing, and Championship Baseball With Straw, Doc, Mookie, Nails, the Kid, and the Rest of the 1986 Mets, the Rowdiest Team Ever to Put On a New York Uniform, and Maybe the Best. Since then, the trend has continued–so much so that I was apparently compelled to join it.)
So some of the topics covered in the book that are not mentioned in the subtitle include why everybody seems to be starting sentences with the word “So,” where vocal fry came from, and if “is that even a thing?” is even a thing.
8 thoughts on “Hot Off the e-Presses”
Can you make your e-ouevre available on amazon.co.uk? US Amazon won’t allow me to download the work.
Let me look into that, Steve.
I believe it is available through amazon.co.uk, at this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Need-Read-This-Imperative-ebook/dp/B00KWG5WPU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1402928401&sr=8-3&keywords=you+need+to+read+this%22
Thank you, Ben, for your erudition and your humo(u)r.
I look forward to getting a print copy of your book soon, and wish you every success with its publication.
Michael Young – a lifetime Brit who continues to be surprised and delighted with the twists and turns of his constantly evolving native language.
Interesting to know, but I don’t have an e-reader of any kind (except this laptop).
Michael and Hal, thanks for your kind words, which show in different ways how this e-book thing really is a new world. Hal–you do not need an e-reader to read “You Need to Read This.” I’m not an expert myself, but there are various free apps you can get for your laptop (including a Kindle app) that will let you read this and other e-books on it. And Michael, unfortunately, there will not be a print edition, so to read it, you have to download one of those apps I just mentioned. Perhaps another reader can give more details and tips.
Good luck with this. I will enjoy it I’m sure.