Fun Facts: How the Internet is changing the English language

In today's fun facts, we take a look at a few fun ways that the internet is changing the English language!

It’s creating new words

Internet trends have been responsible for creating lots of words that we use in everyday conversation. Just last week the word “selfie” was named as word of the year by Oxford Dictionary, thanks to its popularity on social media websites.

Think of how many other words you use on a daily/weekly basis thanks to the internet, like using the verb "to google" to mean to “search for something.” Other classic examples that we use all the time at Kaplan are; “meme”, “un-friend”, “hashtag” and “lolcat”.

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It’s mixing English with other languages

Did you know that English is the most commonly used language on the web? Non-native speakers have started blending it with their own languages to create their own version of the language.

There are languages online called “Hinglish”, which is a mixture of Hindu and English, and “Konglish”, which is a mixture of Korean and English.

It's changing the way we spell

According to a study in 2010 by the English Spelling Society, people ages 18-24 said they wouldn't feel comfortable writing an important email without spell-check. In the future, this, along with auto-checkers such as Google and iPhone auto-correct, may affect how children learn/retain information on how to spell in their own language.

It's reinventing old words

As well as creating new words, the internet has also reused old ones and given them a new definition. For example, the term "wireless" was a term created in the early 20th century to refer to the radio. Nowadays, it is a world-wide term that we use for the internet. "Stream" is a noun used to describe flowing water, but is now an internet term to describe a flowing body of updates, photos, images, and other content on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It is also used as a verb to describe relaying data (mainly video) over the Internet as a steady, continuous flow.

What new words do you use thanks to the internet? Has it completely changed the way you speak?

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