Are You Keeping Up?

24646207_sTechnology has shaped language,  introducing new words and altering the meaning of well-known words. While many of us are aware of the differences between tablets and laptops, texting and e-mailing, websites and blogs, we may not be too familiar with more subtle linguistic changes.

To mark the occasion of its 20th birthday, has compiled a list of words whose meanings have changed in the past two decades.

How many of these meanings do you recognize?


To move an online post to the top of a list by adding a new comment or post to the thread.


To prevent someone from contacting you on Twitter or other social networks.


A twitter conversation that has picked up too many user names for an actual conversation to take place.


A person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.


Parts of the Internet that allow online processing and storage of documents and data.


A very large stream of data.


A unique set of characters or actions that leaves a trace and serves as a means of identification.


To add a person to one’s lists of contacts on a social-networking site.


To subscribe to a person’s updates on social media.


Your screen name. i.e. The name you go by on the Internet.


To indicate enjoyment, interest, or agreement with content on social media.


A cultural item in the form of an image, video or phrase that is spread via the Internet.


To contact someone by sending a brief electronic message, such as a text message.


Personal details, images, and other items associated with a username or online account.


An environment in which software developers or editors can create and test new content, separate from other content in the project.


Move the fingers across a touch screen.


A general-purpose computer contained in a touch screen panel.


To link to someone else’s profile in a social media post.


To send a message.


A collection of online posts or updates associated with a specific social-media account, in reverse chronological order.


A person who starts arguments or upsets people on the Internet.


A short message posted on the Twitter website.


Refrain from using digital or electronic devices for a period of time.


Becoming very popular by circulating from person to person, often through the Internet.

My score – 21/24

New meanings (for me)  – Canoe, firehose, sandbox


About Joanne Guidoccio

In 2008, Joanne retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
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14 Responses to Are You Keeping Up?

  1. My husband is English, so I have to learn all the different meanings to words and phrases to he says too on top of all the tech terms. It’s a lot to take in!

  2. Oh, man. 21 of 24? Think I might have known half. Guess I need to up my game. Or not.

    • Hi Rusty, I must confess…I taught computer studies during the 1990s. I recall learning a whole new lexicon – ROM, RAM, CRT, etc. I still try to keep up with all the terminology. 🙂

  3. I didn’t feel too idiotic with these words but I have to say that in terms of keeping up with all the different social media networking sites I feel very much overwhelmed. 🙂

    • Hi Carol, I agree. Keeping up with the terminology is much easier than embracing all the social media sites. My favorites – Twitter and LinkedIn. I have a presence on FB, Pinterest and Goodreads. As for Google+, Instagram, and the rest…Maybe someday. 🙂

  4. I try, but it is always a challenge to stay current with all of the new phrases, technology, social media, and shortcuts of the virtual world. I read all of the above, very informative.
    Tema Merback

    Writing as Belle Ami
    The One (The Only One) #1
    The One & More (The Only One) #2
    Coming 2016 – One More Time is Not Enough (The Only One) #3
    Twitter: @BelleAmi5

  5. Commented, Fb’d & Tweeted

  6. I knew more than I thought I would. Great post! 🙂

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