Internet English – The History of English (9/10)


In 1972 the first email was sent. Soon the
Internet arrived – a free global space to share
information, ideas and amusing pictures of cats.
Before then English changed through people speaking it – but the net brought typing
back into fashion and hundreds of cases of repetitive
strain injury. Nobody had ever had to ‘download’ anything
before, let alone use a ‘toolbar’ – And the only time someone set up a ‘firewall’,
it ended with a massive insurance claim and a huge pile of charred wallpaper. Conversations were getting shorter than the
average attention span – why bother writing a sentence when an abbreviation would do and leave you more time to ‘blog’, ‘poke’
and ‘reboot’ when your ‘hard drive’ crashed?
‘In my humble opinion’ became ‘IMHO, ‘by the way’ became ‘BTW and ‘if we’re
honest that life-threatening accident was pretty hilarious!’
simply became ‘fail’. Some changes even passed into spoken English.
For your information people frequently asked questions like “how can ‘LOL’
mean ‘laugh out loud’ and ‘lots of love’? But if you’re
going to complain about that then UG2BK.

Comments 30

  • ILTV!
    i love this video πŸ˜€

  • "Firewalls" have been in documented existence since at least the Second World War, when they were used in both England and Germany to limit fire damage from bombing

  • The metal separating your engine and the dash in a car is called a firewall.

  • i'm not sure whether i like the information or just your voice

  • Words like "epic", "fail", "awesome"

  • @techwiz81 Since Old People. The joke about the mother who thought it meant lots of love, so she sent the text "grandma just died LOL".

  • this is "win" XD

  • Love the beard and afro @ 0:11.

  • I'd rather people still know how to spell. In my high school, which has won all sorts of awards for excellence in education, I have the pleasure of peer editing rough drafts that appear to have been written by people who are nearly illiterate.

    I don't know about you, but I'd enjoy a future where people didn't type like "O hay, wutz up? Du u wnt 2 go 2 th muv-E's w me? Bcuz if u dnt wnt 2 ill b vry sd :(( if u cnt tll, im acshualy vry smart. i jst appr rther dum thx 2 th intrnt. Kthxbi:)"

  • I agree with you, but there's worse- the infinite number of videos on you tube that start with the words 'Hey guys, what's up' – that has to be the most overused and IMHO- ill-placed Americanism. What happened to "Hello, how are you?", it's a shame to reduce everything to the dumbest level, you don't need to be Shakespeare to create a sentence that doesn't y'know- whatever- like- er- y'know- I'm like- kind of- never read a book…

  • The video is about changing the language by introducing NEW words. Firewall is not a new word, and the sense in which it is used re the internet clearly relates to its real-world usage: a barrier to prevent passage. Many words have different shades of meaning depending on context. The button of a mouse is different than a sewing button, but to say that "button" is therefore a new word when referring to a mouse, is nonsensical. The word is borrowed from another context, but is not new to English.

  • if people just use the internet 2 talk instead of talk talk, then UG2BK

  • What's wrong with 'Hey guys, what's up'?

  • Nothing really, I am just being a snobby Brit, haha!

  • maybe we don't say how are you because you don't have to ask. If a person is moaning or crying, wouldn't it be stupid to ask happily "Hello, how are you?" but the two last lines have nothing to do in my words. I only say "err" because I have a losss for words.

  • i agree in a half and half. there's a lot of grammar freaks now in youtube so…no one types so…dumb anymore. But if someone spells grammer, instead of grammar, and you make a big fuss, then your over-reacting. I mean it's youtube not school, and it's only one character off.

  • How unfortunate. I'll miss people knowing how to spell.

  • We loved this video so much we featured it in on our blog.
    Thanks for keeping us entertained and informed with your excellent whiteboard animations!

  • Um didn't Murphy Brown host a news show called FYI….and wasn't Murphy Brown a tv character from before there was internet?

    My parents taught me a lot of these supposed internet abreviations when I was young to help me take notes in class

  • I love these videos!

  • Can I use this for our video essay ? PLEAS :((

  • Hi Katherine
    You're more than welcome to share or embed this video. Just click on the 'Share' button for the link or embed code.
    πŸ™‚

  • Firewall is a term much older than the internet, originally, albeit uncommonly used to describe walls constructed to stop the spread of furnace fires through a building, then through a ship, then out of the engine compartment of your car

  • Internet English is used by lazy, uneducated people.

  • lol is a dutch word

  • Sometimes people just write incomprehensible English comments here.

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