language change and slang online English

Internet and language change

This video is a good introduction to the topic of online english, our main focus this month here on the blog.

Professor David Crystal answers the question: How is the internet changing language today?

The video (4:07) was originally made for Global, Macmillan’s six-level course for adults, written by Lindsay Clandfield.

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Kati Sule


  • I think sb should address David Crystal about modifications in spelling due to online and text English. Since English has no academic authority about what’s right and wrong, should these variations should be accepted in formal work? Macmillan- more food for thought- I’d like to know what’s happening with the increasingly popular pronoun “she” as a generic third person, would this be considered gender biased?

  • Dear Mr. Crystal,

    Congratulations on your new coursebook, Global. It’s simply just what we, English teachers, needed.
    I am also impressed and happy to know that this new material really cares about being ethical in terms of
    valuing others cultures. English as an international language couldn’t leave out less well-known and valued English-speaking countries as well as the impact it caused worldwide. We all gained and contribuited with the globalization of English as a language and as a way of changing the world, hopefully for the better. We are much close to each other as technology made communication simple, fast and easily available. I’d also like to thank you for all your wise comments which makes us aware of how important our job is or should be. The way you discourse on language-related topics broadens our horizons.
    Yours faithfully,
    Cleber F. Silva

  • With the paucity of editing and spell checking on the internet, I’m sometimes not sure whether something is just a mistake, or a deliberate misspelling to make a pun, or a serious neologism. I saw the word “epinions” for the first time. It seemed to be a misspelling of “opinions” but then it could have been something someone made up or an actual word meaning “electronic opinions.”

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