Trivia Teaser

Complete the Persian proverb: 'He who has been bitten by snake fears WHAT?

A piece of string
Going to the zoo
An elephant
A brick

English has never been so easy to learn


By Christine Lovatt

Since computers became a major part of our working lives, our English language has had to change drastically to keep up with it. There's probably never been such an influx of new words as there has been in the last 20 years.

It's not just our working lives that are affected. Both young and retired people spend many hours on their computers or laptops, paying bills, playing games and communicating with family, friends and strangers.

But imagine someone had been stranded on a desert island since before computers. They would be utterly confounded by what they heard.

To them, screens are for keeping mozzies out, because otherwise they byte . A mouse is what the cat chases, a boot is what keeps your foot warm. Chips are a takeaway snack in a bag, microchips must be what's left in the bottom of the bag and port is extra-strong wine.

A laptop is where little kids sit, and a hard drive is a tricky trip in the old car. Hardware are nails and screws, software are curtains and cushions and a ram is a sheep with big horns.

The escape key is what the prison warder keeps securely on a chain, a monitor is the kid put in charge when the teacher leaves the room and a hacker is an old boy with a bad cough.

What a huge learning curve for a newcomer!

Happy puzzling!

2 Responses to

English has never been so easy to learn

October 18, 2007 at 7:49 PM


December 01, 2007 at 12:16 AM

English is being dumbed down too by the media when it refers to all bad events as tragedies or disasters when in reality they are neither. They may be a traffic accident that causes loss of life and while a tragedy to the people concerned it is not to the general public. Perhaps the result is inconvenient to other motorists, causing delays, back-ups or diversions of the traffic. Using a few trigger words the newspapers and reporters are showing their laziness of expression and paucity of vocabulary.