The Word Exchange

By Lateu, Jo | New Internationalist, July/August 2014 | Go to article overview

The Word Exchange


Lateu, Jo, New Internationalist


The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN 9780297869771

Those of us still mystified by smartphones may think that the likelihood of allowing microchips to be embedded into our bodies to aid 'user-machine integration' is slim. But in Alena Graedon's dystopian thriller of a digital age gone haywire, this is the least of society's worries. Tablets and iPhones have been replaced by Memes, which predict and anticipate the owner's physical and emotional needs. Information is constantly available (for a fee), so people no longer bother to commit things to memory. Why make the effort to learn what a word means when, for a couple of cents, you can check the definition on the Word Exchange?

As if this weren't bad enough for narrator Anana and her father, as they work on the final print version of the North American Dictionary of the English Language, New York is suddenly struck by a virus, which scrambles speech, making sufferers less and less intelligible before finally silencing them. …

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