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Evolution of Words

Evolution of Words

Language and words change and evolve each day to suit the people who are using them. Due to technological advancement, some words have changed their meaning, and the dictionary has added some new trendy words. Technological changes provoke both culture and linguistics. The changes contribute to eradicating the initial meaning or expanding the use of the word. The changes impact vocabularies and abstract thinking (Chapelle, 2003). Some of the words that have changed meaning due to technological changes include; block, which initially meant placing something on the path so that things or people cannot pass now means preventing a person from contacting you on social media platforms. Catfish was initially a freshwater fish now means a person who has created a false social networking profile for deceptive purposes. A friend was initially a person attached to another because of affection, but it now means a person in the list of contacts in a social network website like Facebook. Follow initially meant going after someone or something, but it now means being subscribed to someone’s social media updates. Viral means that a virus caused something but it now means that something has become very popular through the internet.

The evolution of words has impacted our language, how we speak and think. Google has become a collective global memory. Googling is the process of accessing data from the internet. Google is always available and has any information we may need. Through google, we can get answers to any question; hence people have stopped thinking critically.  Industries and companies have become digitalized. Any form of business has to be on the social media platform. We have started believing in social media marketing and business. At this time, if a business cannot be accessed through the internet, we do not feel like it is legit enough. People have embraced online businesses, especially if they can make deliveries more than physical ones.


Chapelle, C. (2003). English language learning and technology. John Benjamins Publishing Company.


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Chapter 5 of the eBook discusses how words will change meaning over time. This is, in large part, because the language will continue to adapt and evolve in order to meet the needs of the society using it.

Evolution of Words

Evolution of Words

For example, the word “mouse” has now become synonymous with a device used with computers. What are some words that have changed meaning due to technological advances in the last 20 years? What impact do these changes have on our thought process?

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