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How Do I Improve My Internet Vocabulary?

By C. Mitchell
Updated May 16, 2024
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Maintaining an active and up-to-date Internet vocabulary is becoming an important part of many jobs, and it is entering into common language in many places, as well. Learning Internet vocabulary can be challenging for many people, especially those looking to learn vocab phrases in a language other than their native tongue. Many universities and schools publish online communication resources that can help you improve your vocabulary. Internet-specific dictionaries are also widely available in bookstores and tend to be updated regularly. Whichever method you choose, the most important part of improving your vocabulary is to use it.

The language associated with the Internet seems to be almost constantly expanding. Many Internet words, such as e-mail, website, and webpage are more or less commonly understood. It is the more nuanced words and acronyms, such as file transfer protocol (FTP), domain name system (DNS), telnet, and uniform resource locator (URL) that are harder to learn — and easier to forget, as well.

As global business depends on Internet technology, a basic grasp of simple Internet vocabulary is essential. Internet chats and instant messages tend to make ample use of Internet shorthand and acronyms, as well. You need not understand the minutiae of each term’s definition in order to have a working vocabulary. All that you need is a basic familiarity with the terms, so that seeing them will not confuse you.

One of the easiest things to do to improve your Internet vocabulary is to find a basic glossary of online terms or a short dictionary of common words and phrases. These are widely available on university websites and are often also available as pamphlets and small books in the reference section of many bookstores and libraries.

It is important to choose a reference that is appropriate to your needs. If you are looking only for a basic grasp of commonly-used words, a comprehensive dictionary of technology terms will be far more than you need. Should you be looking to improve your Internet vocabulary in order to get a job in the information technology sector, however, you will likely need a more robust source.

Memorization is one way to learn new words and phrases. You can make flashcards out of new phrases and practice a few each day. Unless you are actively using these phrases, however, it can be easy to forget them over time. Learning the language of the Internet is a lot like learning any other language. The best way to keep yourself fluent is to stay practiced and to actually use the words and phrases that you know.

There are not a lot of settings in which Internet vocabulary enters into regular conversation. A better way to practice is to think through the processes next time you are online. Practice your words to describe to yourself what is going on when you open your web browser and challenge yourself to remember what the “http” (hypertext transfer protocol) stands for when you enter a website address. It is also a good idea to look for dictionaries or other resources with quizzes, diagrams, and other methods of learning besides rote memorization. The more places where you see and use new Internet vocabulary, the more likely it is that you will actually come to know and understand it.

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