Jonathon Keats's eagerly awaited monthly 'Jargon Watch' column in Wired Magazine"R discusses the remarkable new coinages that technology is bringing into the language, such as sock puppet (an illicit online alternate identity), in vitro meat (chicken and beef grown in a laboratory), and unparticle (a form of matter lacking definite mass). In Virtual Words, Keats provides an enthralling exploration of how such words and phrases enter the language, what relationship they have to their subject matter, and why some, like blog, succeed while others, like flog (a fake web log), fail.

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