English and the internet

Tom Chatfield in the Guardian Saturday Review section (20/04/13) picked the ten best words the internet has given to the English language  Among the words he included was avatar – the word for our digital incarnations and deriving from a word in Hindu mythology denoting the descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form.  Also included was LOL for laugh out loud – a kind of stage direction to the reader and (my favourite) Scunthorpe problems.  The effect was labeled in honour of the town where in 1996 AOL temporarily prevented any Scunthorpe residents from creating user accounts.  The inhabitants of Penistone may well have suffered in a similar manner.!

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