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Retro English

Welcome to Retro English, the place that's all about yesterday's phrases and crazes. Today, we'll be looking at technology in the 90's - and listening to some of the music of the decade.
Tony Thorne, Head of the Language Centre at King's College, London 1990's
The 90's: technology

'The Power' by Snap, a song that appeared as the internet really took off in the 1990's.
Cyber cafe   Global village
The internet made a lot of new things possible, including living many aspects of your life through your computer. You could chat on the net, you could date on the net, you could even buy animals on the net! The internet broke down barriers between people, companies and countries. As our expert Tony Thorne says, with all the new technology, the English language seemed to gain new vocabulary every minute.
    Listen to Tony talking about the 'language of new technology' in the 90's:
    Check the transcript - note the words in bold
Playing a computer game   Computer gaming
Technology in the 90's wasn't all about the internet - although sometimes, with all the media coverage and publicity the internet received, it seemed that way! We talked to Tony about another 90's technology trend: the development of the computer game into the technologically advanced world of 'computer gaming'. As you listen, try and spot the word 'gamesters' - the people who became very skilled on computer games.
    Listen to Tony to find out what 'computer gaming' actually means:
    Check the transcript - note the words in bold
Anorak!   Geeks, nerds, anoraks
The 90's saw a change of attitude towards at least one type of person, the one who had previously been seen as a loser and a misfit. And why was that? Because it was that type of person who seemed to understand new technology well! Listen to Tony talking about these people and see if you can spot one of the words used to describe them, which is also a type of coat.
    Listen to Tony talking about geeks, nerds and anoraks:
    Check the transcript - note the words in bold
See how much of a 90's language expert you are - check out today's Retro English exercise!


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