English is a global lingua franca with non-native speakers far outnumbering native speakers. In the Old and Middle English periods century people wrote in their own dialect, but the dialect of London and the south-east acquired a certain prestige because the court was in London and London was the major centre of commerce. Since the seventeenth century English has been spoken in different countries not in close contact with one another, and to a certain extent each went its own way with independent word formation and semantic change, especially in the colloquial language. In South African English there are numerous borrowings from Dutch/Afrikaans such as ouma ‘grandma’ and oupa ‘grandpa’ and a few from African languages such as dagga ‘cannabis’, which is from Khoekhoe dachab. The environment in which English is used has changed dramatically over the last 20 years with the emergence of online culture.