Foreword to Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte.

The foreword to the seminal fourth book from A Book Apart.

Language has magical properties. The word “glamour”— which was originally a synonym for magic or spell-casting— has its origins in the word “grammar.” Of all the capabilities of language, the act of naming is the most magical and powerful of all.

The short history of web design has already shown us the transformative power of language. Jeffrey Zeldman gave us the term “web standards” to rally behind. Jesse James Garrett changed the nature of interaction on the web by minting the word “Ajax.”

When Ethan Marcotte coined the term “responsive web design” he conjured up something special. The technologies existed already: fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries. But Ethan united these techniques under a single banner, and in so doing changed the way we think about web design.

Ethan has a way with words. He is, of course, the perfect person to write a book on responsive web design. But he has done one better than that: he has written the book on responsive web design.

If you’re hoping for a collection of tricks and tips for adding a little bit of superficial flair to the websites that you build, then keep looking, my friend. This little beauty operates at a deeper level.

When you’ve finished reading this book (and that won’t take very long) take note of how you approach your next project. It’s possible that you won’t even notice the mind-altering powers of Ethan’s words, delivered, as they are, in his light-hearted, entertaining, sometimes downright hilarious style; but I guarantee that your work will benefit from the prestidigitation he is about to perform on your neural pathways.

Ethan Marcotte is a magician. Prepare to be spellbound.

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