1. Look at the web page. Which components can you name?
2. Read the extract and drag the words into correct places.
A Typical Web Page
4. Fill each gap with one suitable word.
Quality of communication
5. Read the extract from a book ‘Language And The Internet’ written by David Crystal and answer the questions that follow.
What is it like to be a regular citizen of the Internet, a netizen?
Those who already spend appreciable amounts of time online need only self-reflect; for those who do not, the self-descriptions of a ‘day in a netizen’s life’ are informative. Here is Shawn Wilbur’s, as
he describes what a ‘virtual community’ means to him:
For me it is the work of a few hours a day, carved up into minutes
and carried on from before dawn until long after dark. I venture
out onto the Net when I wake in the night, while coffee water
boils, or bath water runs, between manuscript sections or student
appointments. Or I keep a network connection open in the
background while I do other work. Once or twice a day, I log on
for longer periods of time, mostly to engage in more demanding
realtime communication, but I find that is not enough. My
friends and colleagues express similar needs for frequent
connection, either in conversation or through the covetous looks
they cast at occupied terminals in the office. Virtual community is
this work, this immersion, and also the connections it represents.
Sometimes it is realtime communication. More often it is
asynchronous and mostly solitary, a sort of textual flirtation that
only occasionally aims at any direct confrontation of voices or
And there are now several sites which will advise you of the symptoms to look out for if you want to know whether you are Internet-driven. Here is a short selection from various pages headed
‘addicted to the Internet’:
You wake up at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom and stop to check
your e-mail on the way back to bed.
You sign off and your screen says you were on for 3 days and
You placed the refrigerator beside your computer.
You say ‘scroll up’ when someone asks what it was you said.
All of your friends have an @ in their names.
You tell the cab driver you live at
You check your mail. It says ‘no new messages’. So you check it
Your phone bill comes to your doorstep in a box.
It is not the aim of this book to reflect on the consequences for individuals or for society of lives that are lived largely in cyberspace. My aim is much more modest: it is to explore the ways in which the nature of the electronic medium as such, along with the Internet’s global scale and intensity of use, is having an effect on language in general, and on individual languages in particular.
- What is your opinion on the issue?
- Are you an Internet junkie?
- How might a language be affected by the Internet?