I want to write down a sentence to express the fact that from the 1980's on computers got applied in many facets of our daily lives ... and I am wondering what sentence would be correct:

"As computing got more and more ubiquitous in people's daily lives, ..."


"As computing became more and more ubiquitous in people's daily lives, ..."


Thank you for all the comments! I have rebuilt the sentence as shown below:

"As computing started to become ubiquitous, affecting more and more aspects of people's daily lives, the demand for reliable programs that are proven to be correct increased"


Got is acceptable in informal discourse, but became is to be preferred in formal discourse.

This is not entirely a matter of register, however. Get always has a certain overtone of acquire, and suggesting that ubiquity is a quality acquired by computers is a little wonky. You'd be more likely to say that computers got faster or got more powerful than got more ubiquitous.

A side issue is whether ubiquitous is in fact scalable; I don't particularly object to more ubiquitous, since it’s understood as what I would phrase as more nearly ubiquitous, but some have a legitimate argument against it. You might avoid the quarrel by writing “As computing came to play a greater and greater role in people’s daily lives ...”

  • thank you for this detailed comment .. after re-thinking the sentence I want to write again I followed your suggestion regarding the scalability of "ubiquitous". I've added my conclusion the my original post. Thank you! – marc wellman Dec 27 '12 at 16:01

"As computing became more and more ubiquitous..." is preferable, but ubiquity is better understood as an absolute condition: something is either ubiquitous or it isn't.
How about: "As the use of computers became increasingly common in daily life..."


Get is one of those verbs that has many forms and could work in a context like yours the same way become does. It seems to be marked informal in formal discourse. So if it's a written and more formal document, become will be a better choice and will keep you on the safe side.

  • thank you for your comment .. it's indeed in a formal context - it's my master thesis :) and as you an the others suggested I will use "become" ... thx again! – marc wellman Dec 27 '12 at 15:59

Don’t use ubiquitous in a way that is qualified by degree, since it means “everywhere”. It’s like being more and more unique, or more and more pregnant.

Instead, just say something like:

As computing became more and more commonplace in people’s daily lives,


You could rewrite the sentence -

As computing became ubiquitous, it pervaded every part of people’s daily lives. The demand for...

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