Number one for English language teachers

Word of the week: Multitasking

Type: Reference material

The word multitasking came originally from the world of computers. It was used to refer to the ability of a computer’s central processing unit to do several different things at the same time. The term soon began to be applied to people as well as computers. If someone is good at multitasking they can perform a number of tasks simultaneously.

It is generally recognized that women are much more adept at multitasking than men and are often able to cook, feed babies, make telephone calls and write novels at the same time! Many men find such versatility impossible. The former American president Gerald Ford was perhaps an example of someone with an inability to multitask. The late president Lyndon B Johnson once said of him, “That man is so dumb he can’t fart and chew gum at the same time.”

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