Wednesday December 19, 2018

‘Yoga’ among top 15 most popular words in the British society: Study

The researchers have kept in mind how the internet age has had a massive influence on the words we use in daily communications or elsewhere

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London, April 13, 2017: Along with words like ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’, ‘Yoga’ has occupied a spot among the top fifteen most popular words in the British society; say scientists who are looking into the massive influence the internet age has had on the English language.

According to the researchers, the necessity to communicate with a wider-world coupled with a move away from the close-knit, cosy communities of the 90s has changed the way British people speak over the last two decades dramatically.

The study, conducted by Lancaster University and Cambridge University Press in the UK, prioritized the most characteristic words of informal chit-chat and gossips in today’s Britain.

The researchers have kept in mind how the internet age has had a massive influence on the words we use in daily communications or elsewhere.

In the 1990s we were captivated by ‘cassettes’. Today the bill is topped by ’email’, ‘Internet’, ‘Facebook’, ‘Google’, ‘YouTube’, ‘website’, ‘Twitter’, ‘texted’, ‘iphone’, ‘ipad’ etc.

‘Twenty-four’ perfectly sums up the open-all-hours community which we now live in – very far away from a world where words like ‘cobbler’ and ‘playschool’ were high in our vocabulary.

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According to PTI reports, once-popular words like ‘permed’, ‘comb’ and ‘tar rah’ lost their stardom as shown by the study. But ‘awesome’, which replaced ‘marvellous’ in an earlier study, is still popular and has now joined ‘massively’ in the top 15.

The study also shows that the word ‘croquet’ has taken a hit along with expressions such as ‘mucking’, ‘whatsername’, ‘golly’ and ‘matey’. ‘Boxer’, ‘crossword’ and ‘drought’-all could easily be spotted in the 1990s’ top 15.

Existing data from the 1990s was compared to two million words of then newly collected data from the year 2012 by an earlier study of the team. The researchers have now collected more data and compared the same 1990s collection to a much bigger collection comprising nearly five million words spanning 2012-2015.

At the end of this year 11 million words spanning 2012-2016 will be publicly released.

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Researcher and language expert Robbie Love from Lancaster University in the UK, has made a compiled list of the top 15 most popular words from the 1990s which have since declined the most drastically and the top 15 words, not around in the 1990s, which are massively used today.

Love stated, “These findings suggest the things that are most important to British society are indeed reflected in the amount we talk about them. New technologies like Facebook have really captured our attention, to the extent that, if we’re not using it, we’re probably talking about it,” he said.

He also mentioned that the new data has shed light on some older words which, similar to “marvellous” and “marmalade” in the previous study, clearly appear to have fallen out of fashion in the intervening years.

“The study provides a sense of the way society has expanded since the early 1990s and the end of the offline era. Our priorities are moving away from what is happening on our doorsteps,” Love added.

“New technologies like Facebook have really captured our attention, to the extent that, if we’re not using it, we’re probably talking about it,” he said.

“The new data has shed light on some older words which, similar to “marvellous” and “marmalade” in the previous study, appear to have fallen out of fashion in the intervening years,” he added.

“The study provides a sense of the way society has expanded since the early 1990s and the end of the offline era. Our priorities are moving away from what is happening on our doorsteps,” Love said.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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Twitter Warns Unusual Activity From Hackers in China and Saudi Arabia

Importantly, this issue did not expose full phone numbers or any other personal data

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Twitter warns 'unusual activity' from hackers in China, Saudi Arabia. Pixabay

Twitter has warned of “unusual activity” from state-sponsored actors based in China and Saudi Arabia after it found a bug that could have revealed the country code of users’ phone numbers or if their account was locked.

The revelation led to Twitter stock dropping nearly 7 per cent on Monday.

In a statement, Twitter said it discovered the bug on November 15 and fixed it a day later.

“During our investigation, we noticed some unusual activity involving the affected customer support form API. Specifically, we observed a large number of inquiries coming from individual IP addresses located in China and Saudi Arabia,” said the micro-blogging platform, used by over 336 million users, on one of its support forms.

“While we cannot confirm intent or attribution for certain, it is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actors,” Twitter warned.

Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

The bug, said the company, could be used to discover the country code of people’s phone numbers if they had one associated with their Twitter account, as well as whether or not their account had been locked by Twitter.

Twitter locks an account if it appears to be compromised or in violation of its rules or Terms of Service.

“Importantly, this issue did not expose full phone numbers or any other personal data.

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“We have directly informed the people we identified as being affected. We are providing this broader notice as it is possible that other account holders we cannot identify were potentially impacted,” Twitter said, adding it is “sorry this happened”.

A Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch: “For our part, we are committed to understanding how bad-faith actors use our services. We will continue to proactively combat nefarious attempts to undermine the integrity of Twitter.” (IANS)