AS ELECTRONIC engineers create virtual reality in and through computer software, they are also creating new English words to describe their ongoing technical achievements. While following existing rules of word formation, they are also changing these rules: for example, by making new nouns from prepositions. Their neologisms seem to be driven by humorous responses to electronic requirements of speed, multi-functionality and reversibility. This paper examines the current but on-going impact of their usage on the grammatical structure of the language. In a rapidly-evolving electronic future, their usage is likely to have a major impact on how ‘ordinary’ Internet users communicate online.
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