LONDON-“Apple”, “tweet”, “cloud”, “stream” - words that once conjured vivid visions of the countryside are now synonymous with our technological world.

And, a National Trust study suggests, just 1% of uses of the word “tweet” in conversation now refer to birdsong.

Similarly, while in the 1990s 100% of mentions of “stream” meant “a little river”, that has now fallen to 36%.

One in four parents and grandparents surveyed worried about children losing the original natural meanings of words.

“A lot of new tech is abstract and difficult to understand, which makes it ripe for metaphor,” Dr Robbie Love, a linguistics fellow at the University of Leeds, who conducted the study, told BBC News.