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IT is biggest source of new words

But almost no one knows what they mean

New technology is the biggest single source of new words in our language, according to a report by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

The study shows that one in four terms that enter the OED last year came from new technology or from ways in which we use it.

Recent entries include 'cyberslacking', which is the act of using time at work to surf the internet for personal interest; 'screenager', a youngster who knows a lot about computers; and 'Internesia', the act of forgetting where you found a piece of information on the web.

But ordinary people will have to catch up with the pace of change in the English language before words like screenager come into everyday use, as PC World found in another report. PC World found 80 percent of people are baffled by techno jargon.

The results showed only 13 percent of people knew what WAP meant and only 19 percent of people could define what a hacker is.

When asked why this was and whether PC firms could do more to alleviate the nation's textual travails, the company gave the following baffling response. "Words are assigned to new technology in the marketplace and in newspapers so that society doesn't shut down," said a spokeswoman for PC World, "But it is not necessarily being explained that well."


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