DC Trawler

All the news that’s fit to tweet

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Choire Sicha at The Awl reports:

Phil Corbett, the latest standards editor at the Times (maybe the greatest job in the world?), has issued a proclamation! Yesterday, the following memo went out, asking writers to abstain from the invented past-tense and other weird iterations of the magical noun-verb “Twitter…”

Some social-media fans may disagree, but outside of ornithological contexts, “tweet” has not yet achieved the status of standard English. And standard English is what we should use in news articles.

Except for special effect, we try to avoid colloquialisms, neologisms and jargon. And “tweet” — as a noun or a verb, referring to messages on Twitter — is all three. Yet it has appeared 18 times in articles in the past month, in a range of sections.

Of course, new technology terms sprout and spread faster than ever. And we don’t want to seem paleolithic.

You’re certainly not, NYT. By that era, dinosaurs like you were long extinct.

“Tweet” is a stupid word. So are “e-mail,” “fax,” and “Internet.” So are “automobile,” “airplane,” and “telephone.” They’re colloquialisms until they’re not. It’s been a long time since the NYT had any impact on people’s everyday speech, but this little osteoporotic foot-stomp is still adorable.

Tweet, tweet, tweet! See, now I like it.

Jim Treacher