Every week millions of Britons use computers to access the
internet but how many of them actually know their ipods from their IMs?
Not many it seems.
A recent survey from Nielsen/ NetRatings – a global internet,
media and market research company - shows that while the British are crazy
about buying and owning new technology they're not so keen to keep up
with the ever-changing jargon of 21st century technology.
According to Nielsen/NetRatings, people love having
cutting-edge technology but often don't understand the terms that
describe what their devices actually do.
For example, 40% of online Britons receive
news feeds but 67% don't know that the official term for this service is
Really Simple Syndication.
Terms like WiFi and PDA are still
meaningless to more than 30% of the British public who regularly work or
Acronyms in particular bamboozle users. 75% of
online Britons don't know that VOD stands for video-on-demand, while 68% are
unaware that personal video recorders are more commonly referred to as PVRs.
Millions of people keep in touch via Instant Messaging
but 57% of online Brits said they didn't know that the acronym for it was IM.
Alex Burmaster, an internet analyst with Nielsen/NetRatings
commented "The technology industry is perhaps the most guilty of all
industries when it comes to love of acronyms. There is a certain level of
knowledge snobbery. If you talk in acronyms you sound like you really
know what you are talking about and if others don't understand then they
are seen in some way as inferior."
This study shows that many people don't completely understand
much of the new technological jargon but things are slowly changing.
Words such as "blogging" and "podcasting" are now used and understood by enough
people for these terms to have made it into the most recently published
dictionaries in Britain.