Trivia Teaser

The capital city of which of these countries has the LEAST letters in its name?


Cyberspace Communication


By Christine Lovatt

Since the Internet has become widely used, hundreds of new words have been created. Young people don’t want  dry, dusty vocabulary that old fogeys would use, but familiar words to describe technical concepts. Can you believe that the mouse was originally called an X-Y position indicator? Not very catchy - just as well someone came up with mouse.

Familiar words crop up with new meanings. A computer menu offers you a list of things to choose from, like a restaurant menu. A computer virus spreads quickly and causes harm like a human virus. The computer's memory holds information, just like our memories do.

Spam is the trade name of an American brand of tinned cooked meat, widely used during the Second World War when fresh meat was hard to obtain. Because people had to eat so much of it, it became the object of many jokes. Other colourful words are snail mail and wysiwyg (what-you-see-is-what-you-get).

Words like desktop, file, folder and recycle bin remind us of our offices. Bug, net, wallpaper and crash are familiar, and the word computer once meant a person employed to spend their day performing mathematical operations, with pen and paper.

Then there are new words like cyberspace and dotcom. Open-collar workers are people who work at home, or should I say they telecommute? Egosurfing means scanning the net looking for the mention of your name. A cobweb site is a website that hasn't been updated for a long time.

Ten years ago, blogs would have referred to Joe Bloggs, the average man in the street. The first blog was written in April 1997 but the word weblog wasn’t coined until December and later abbreviated to blog. A person who writes a blog is a blogger and a blogosphere is the whole blogging community – (does it sound like a swear word to you?).

Happy puzzling!



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Cyberspace Communication

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