• E021 Wi-Fi

    Welcome to English with Kimberley.

    In this episode, I want to talk to you about the way different words are used for the same piece of technology, or the way the same technological word can be said in two different ways.

    For example, ‘Wi-Fi’ can be said as ‘wee-fee’ or as ‘why-fi’.

    As always at the start of the podcast we have a question.

    Which of these do Americans use for the ‘thing’ they use to turn on the TV and change the TV channels?

    Is it…

    a) remote?

    b) remote control?

    c) clicker?

    or d) controller?

    And again…

    Which of these do Americans use for the ‘thing’ they use to turn on the TV and change the TV channels?

    Is it…

    a) remote?

    b) remote control?

    c) clicker?

    or d) controller?

    Well, you’d be surprised to know that they are all used. Remote is the most popular with 65% of people saying it. Next, is ‘remote control’ at 22%. Then, it’s clicker and controller at 6% each.

    In Australia, we would only use remote and remote control.

    Other technological words like our example, ‘Wi-Fi’ can be said as ‘wee-fee’ or ‘wh-yfi’. I’ve heard both so much now that I often use either equally. But I prefer ‘why-fi’ as this seems the standard British and Australian pronunciation.

    By the way, many people think Wi-Fi is an acronym for ‘wireless fidelity’, just like Hi-Fi stands for ‘high fidelity’. But apparently, the person who invented W-Fi – who just happens to be an Australian – just made up.

    Wi-Fi and Hi-Fi are acronyms and you can get more information on acronyms from Episode 5 (At the ATM).

    OK, are final quiz – remember it’s just for fun.

    The following all have something to do with your PC or Mac when you press the power button – but what’s the technical term?

    a) Turn on

    b) Power up

    c) Boot up

    and [or] d) Start

    Well, let’s repeat the question.

    The following all have something to do with your PC or Mac when you press the power button – but what’s the technical term?

    a) Turn on

    b) Power up

    c) Boot up

    or d) Start

    Well, 45% of Americans say ‘turn on’; 6% say ‘power up’; and 33% say ‘start’. But 16% will say ‘boot up’. So, even though ‘turn on’, ‘power up’ and ‘start’ are all ways of saying the more technical ‘boot up’ – ‘boot up’ is the correct technical term.

    If you like English with Kimberley, then tell your friends about it.

    You can also leave feedback about this podcast on iTunes.

    I hope you have enjoyed this podcast and you’ll join me again.

    Source

    The Atlantic. (2014). ‘Why-Fi’ or ‘Wiffy’? How Americans Pronounce Common Tech Terms. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/why-fi-or-wiffy-how-americans-pronounce-techs-most-common-terms/373082/

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