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Tasks and Activites

Internet English

The History of English in 10 minutes - Chapter 9 (OU)


  1. When was the first e-mail sent?
  2. When did the internet come into being?
  3. What did the following words originally mean:

    • Toolbar
    • Firewall
  4. Explain what these abbreviations (commonly called chat acronyms) mean

    • BTW
    • FYI
    • UG2BK
    • LOL (double meanings)
    • FAQ
    • MHO
  5. How have chat acronyms, blogging, poking and chatting changed our way of communicating?


  1. Should written and spoken English freely adopt chat acronyms etc. from digital communication or not? Give reasons. Is it possible to avoid this?
  2. How has digital communication affected your relationship to the English language?

Suggested Further Reading

  1. The Origins of the English Language
  2. Why So Much Variety in English?
CC BY-SAWritten by: Knut Inge Skifjeld and Eli Huseby.
Last revised date 06/15/2018

Learning content

English as a world language