"Clever and humorous... Whether you are among the people or the tweeple, you are sure to be educated and entertained."
"In this clever, no-nonsense essay collection, Wired
magazine's "Jargon Watch" columnist Keats examines the relationship between emerging and evolving language and technological development."
"What's not to like about Jonathon Keats? His new book, Virtual Words: Language on the Edge of Science and Technology
, comprises 28 short essays in which he looks at the relationship between words and ideas in our modern high-tech culture. It's brainy stuff, but he is never less than interesting when he tries to figure out the significance of expressions such as "crowd-sourcing," "w00t," and "in vitro meat" entering the lexicon."
- SF Weekly
"At its best, Virtual Words is the work of an amateur in the old sense, of an interested mind sharing the stories of a world that fascinates him. ELSo perhaps this is a book of enthusiasm-not enthusiasm for the novelty of new words, nor for the preservation of the old, but the enthusiasm of an engaged mind focused and sharing its fascination. Virtual Words reminds one that language is not only alive, but lively." International Journal of Communication
"Scifi artist and novelist Jonathon Keats' new book, Virtual Words
, is an eloquent exploration of words and phrases that we're using to describe our future-science world."
"Our knowledge of science and technology shapes our understanding of the world, right down to the terminology we use. Virtual words is a deep, forward-looking exploration of nomenclature at the cutting edge of science and technology, written with genuine erudition and wit."
- Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist
"In a complicated chiasmus, [Keats] remarks, "The language of technology and science illuminates the science and technology of language." That interconnectedness is well brought out in this book."
-Michael Quinion, WorldWideWords
About the Author
Jonathon Keats writes the Jargon Watch column for Wired Magazine, and has covered science, technology and language, as well as literature and the arts, for dozens of publications including the Washington Post, Popular Science, Scientific American, and Salon.com. He is the author of two novels, The Pathology of Lies and Lighter Than Vanity, and a story collection, The Book of the Unknown, and is the recipient of Yaddo and MacDowell fellowships. He lives in San Francisco and northern Italy.