A lecture by Laurence Scott “Words Rewired’
Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design
Bersenevskaya embankment, 14, Moscow
3 June at 18.00 as part of the 3-day Future of the Word Forum, devoted to new perspectives on reading culture, the publishing industry and creative literary process in the UK and Russia.
The digital revolution has not only influenced language by introducing new words such as blog, e-mail, and webinar; it has also changed the ways in which old words are used. ‘Mute’, ‘Hack’ and ‘Refresh’, for example, have gained new meanings in the digital age, and these new meanings reflect the culture and politics of our networked era. More eerily, there is a Gothic undertone to the social media vernacular, with phrases such as ‘Facebook-stalking’, ‘troll’, ‘ghost-tweeter’ and ‘MySpace suicide’ capturing our unease about the disembodied nature of our online interactions. Perhaps most striking, however, is how our migration to cyberspace has coincided with a ‘noun invasion’, whereby everyone is asking ‘Is that a thing?’. Words Rewired explores how digital life is reprogramming language according to its own values and priorities.
Laurence Scott is the author of The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World, which was short-listed for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize. His essays and criticism have appeared in the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books, among other publications. In 2011 he was named a ‘New Generation Thinker’ by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the BBC, and since then has contributed regularly to a variety of BBC Radio programmes. He teaches English and Creative Writing at Arcadia University, and in 2014 won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction.