How Is the Internet Changing English? 網路如何改變英語語言？
Twenty years ago this week the British inventor Tim Berners-Lee created the world’s first webpage. It is worth pausing to consider the extraordinary impact that his invention has had on the English language.
Everyday words like google, unfriend and app simply didn't exist in 1990.
Even more words have had unexpected shifts in meaning in those two decades. If you had mentioned tweeting to an English-speaker a few years ago, he would have assumed you were talking about bird noises, not the use of the microblogging site Twitter.
Long ago, if someone lived online, it didn't mean they spent every waking minute on the internet, but that they travelled around with the rail network.
And wireless still means, to anyone of a certain age, a radio - not the system for retrieving internet pages without wires.
"The internet is an amazing medium for languages," said David Crystal, honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor. "Language itself changes slowly but the internet has speeded up the process of those changes so you notice them more quickly."
English is a remarkably inclusive language, and if words continue to be used for at least five years they generally end up in the Oxford English Dictionary.
But less accepted are the peculiar dialects that have sprung up amongst some users. For example, 'LOLcat' is a phonetic, grammatically-incorrect caption that accompanies a picture of a cat, like "I'm in ur bed zleeping".
In an article called "Cats Can Has Grammar" the blogger Anil Dash referred to LOLcat as "kitty pidgin". But does something like LOLcat have the staying power to become an accepted form of English?
Not according to Professor Crystal. "They are all clever little developments used by a very small number of people - thousands rather than millions. Will they be around in 50 years' time? I would be very surprised."
- to unfriend刪除好友
- every waking minute醒著的每一分鐘
- of a certain age中年的，不算年輕的
- to retrieve找回
- to speed up加速
- to end up最終成為
- to be accepted被接受
- to spring up湧現
- to accompany something伴隨、陪伴某物
- kitty pidgin像貓語言的混雜語
- staying power持久力
【看BBC學英文】優質免費的英文學習平台！你想要學習原汁原味的英國腔調嗎？還是你希望增加自己的聽力呢？IELTS及TOEIC考試中的聽力題，對於不熟悉英國腔的朋友們是一大苦手！每週利用BBC〝6 Minute English〞教學，擷取適當篇幅讓大家熟悉音調，利用填空練習考考自己，並有延伸單字片語，你只要利用短短的時間，就能進行單元式的英文聽力練習，而且還是免費的！當然還有不定期的重點新聞分享，一起利用零碎時間累積英文實力！