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Listen to Gavin Dudeney

Do you use any of the social networking websites which are so popular these days? You know - the places where you can connect up with friends and relatives and meet people who share the same interests as you?

If you're younger you may use MySpace, young adults are more likely to be found on Facebook and busy professionals may prefer something like LinkedIn. But at least two of these sites have one thing in common: apart from being social spaces where you can meet and chat to people, share photos and other things, they've all added new verbs and nouns to the language in the past couple of years. Let's take a look at some examples...

I've just facebooked the photos from my summer holiday [uploaded them to my facebook page].
I facebooked that guy John and it turns out he's an architect [looked him up in Facebook].
Did you facebook Susan about the party? [contact Susan through her Facebook page].
Anyway, nice to meet you. Do you mind if I facebook you? [add you as a Facebook friend].

As you can see, 'facebook' is a pretty versatile word, and you could say the same about 'myspace', which you will find being used in much the same way all over the Net. LinkedIn (being a more adult, professional community) is yet to succumb to such cavalier twisting of the English language!

And while you're 'facebooking' or 'myspacing' you may also find yourself 'commenting' (writing a comment on someone's Facebook or MySpace page), as in this example: 'I commented Dawn that she should come to the pub on Saturday and she commented me that she couldn't because she was going away for the weekend'. Anyway, I must get on. I haven't facebooked yet today and there's sure to be a lot to catch up on!


download transcriptTranscript (pdf - 27 K)
download lesson planLesson plan - Teacher's notes, student worksheets with answers (pdf - 76 K)
download audioAudio - Gavin Dudeney on "Facebook" (mp3 - 670 K)
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