In this post we’ll have a look at a very short exchange between a customer and tech support about a server problem.
Let’s first start with the word “server”…
The word server /ˈsɜːvə(r)/ has quite a few interesting meanings:
In our conversation, it refers to the powerful computers that provide the resources that we use on the Internet. The page that you are reading right now is provided to you by a server; the text, the images, and the design elements of this page are all stored on a server and are “served” to you. File storage, databases, e-mail, web services, all run on servers. Amazon, for example, has a huge number of severs: an estimated 1.4 million servers in December 2014.
But “server” has other meanings too:
- a player who is serving, for example in tennis
- a large spoon, fork etc for taking food from a large dish and putting it on your plate (e.g. a salad server)
- (In American English) a waiter or a waitress, i.e. a person who serves food in a restaurant
OK, enough vocabulary! Let’s move on to our conversation:
Tech support: Thank you for calling Nice Web Services. Tech support. How can I help you?
Customer: Hello, I cannot _____ my website. I think the server is _____.
Tech support: No worries. _____ of it.
Now, how would you complete the three blanks in the conversation?
For the first blank, would you say “access” or “access to”?
For the second, would you say “up” or “down”?
And for the third, would you say “we take care” or “we’ll take care”?
(You’ll see the explanation in the English Gym below.)
But before we end our discussion, let’s see how the tech support are going to handle the situation…