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The impact of technology on the English language


Technology is a huge part of all our lives today and I bet you couldn’t imagine your life without your mobile phone! Apart from changing the way we communicate with friends and family and giving us lots of new ways to work, technology has also changed the English language too. Let’s look at some of these changes:

New words

‘Google’, ‘tweet’ and ‘direct message’ are just some of the new verbs that have entered the English language due to the internet. I’m sure you have talked about googling a word or product and tweeted or direct messaged a friend on social media platforms. Over 700 new words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2021, and you can bet some of those were technology related!

Text acronyms and short forms

As I’m sure is the same in your first language, when sending messages on WhatsApp or via text native speakers like to shorten words or use acronyms (letters in the place of words). This trend started many years ago as it was expensive to send longer messages, nowadays it still continues because it is much faster. Let’s look at a few examples:

BC – because

IDK – I don’t know

NP – no problem

TBH – to be honest

For more examples, check out this website:


Emojis have become so popular in the last few years that some text conversations happen only in emojis! They have also started to be used at work, especially with the chat function in Microsoft Teams and in informal emails between colleagues. Knowing your audience is important though, don’t send any emojis to your new boss or someone you haven’t met before!

Now it’s your turn, can you guess three English expressions/idioms using the emoji clues below?

  1. ☔????????????????
  2. ????????????????
  3. ????✌????

Don’t forget to look out any new technology related words as the English language continue to evolve! What do you think might be the next words to enter the dictionary?


  1. It’s raining cats and dogs = It’s raining a lot!
  2. Don’t cry over spilt milk = don’t be upset about something that has already happened and you can’t change
  3. Like a duck to water = something comes naturally