The Expansion of the Internet

The way we use the English language changes over time; surprisingly quickly, at some times, which we can easily see when reading English books from about a century ago. Sociological Linguist Dr. Shelby Gumball has been conducting a study for her whole life on this subject, and the results are finally in, with a curious observation:

“In 1950, when I was very young, you hardly heard the word ‘Internet’ at all. But, year by year, the usage of the word grew. For instance, in 1954, I heard the word ‘Internet’ used zero times. By the next year, that number had doubled, to a total of zero uses! Amazing expansion!”

The most curious part of this growth is that, starting in the early 1980’s, the use of the word “Internet” became infinitely larger, and continued to grow exponentially. With regards to the cause of this rapid increase, Dr. Gumball had this to say:

“Honestly, the only logical explanation for why the word has been used so much more than ever before is probably because we are talking more than ever before. I feel that it is a safe extrapolation to make, to say that using this word infinitely more than we ever did, implies that we use every word infinitely more.”

Dr. Gumball did express her concerns that we might be reaching “peak words,” or the point at which we simply cannot keep making words at the rate we have been. Judging from the numbers she has presented, she just might be right.


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