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February 16, 2013

Twitter Jargon - Changing the Way We Speak?

Twitter Jargon - Changing the Way We Speak?
Is Twitter changing the way we speak or just reflecting changes in the way we speak?

At the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Jacob Eisenstein and his colleagues examined some 40 million tweets, which were sent from various US locations between December 2009 and May 2011. After collecting the data, his team built a mathematical model capturing the large-scale flow of the various new words between different cities. The results were quite interesting: cities with large African American populations tend to lead the way in linguistic innovation – an example "ctfu", an abbreviation of "cracking the f**k up”, comes straight out of Cleveland, OH ( my old stomping ground).

Although his data does not shed light on the ‘why’, Eisenstein does note that language is just one cultural area in which traditions have spread outwards from communities that are economically and ethnically similar - rather than geographically close to one another. "Their results indicate that birds of a feather tweet together," says John Nerbonne, a linguist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands – who, with that statement, shines a spotlight on the Netherlands as another country quite capable of producing bad puns.

Although a bit lengthy, I urge you to take a peek and read through the article – thought provoking at the least! In the meantime, I’ve collected some oft used Twitter jargon to give you a head start:

Twitter Jargon:

RT or Retweet – this is when a message is reused and the originator is acknowledged

MT or Modified Tweet – a retweet that has been modified slightly (often to reduce the character count but sometimes to add emphasis)

DM or Direct Message – this is where you can send or receive a private message (providing both parties follow each other) To send, begin your message with “d username” or use the direct message inbox on Twitter.

HT or Hat Tip – to acknowledge finding another person’s tweet or link interesting.

CC – Carbon-copy. Works the same way as email. So if you’re @mentioning someone on Twitter and want to “copy” another tweet, just include “CC: @___” and you’re good.

IMHO – In my humble opinion

OH – Overheard

IRL – In real life

FWIW – For what it's worth

QOTD – Quote of the day

BTW – By the way

AFAIK – As far as I know

TY – Thank you

YW – You're welcome

FF – FollowFriday. On Twitter, #followfriday or #ff is an endorsement used to call attention to a user’s favorite followers on Twitter. When you tweet a FF message, you’re recommending that your followers also check out the people you mention in your post.

PRT – Please retweet. If you see “PRT” in a tweet, it stands for “Please retweet,” a plea for retweets. Use this tactic sparingly, and feel free to ignore if you see it on someone else’s tweet, unless you legitimately want to spread their content to your followers.

Authored by: Attila Sary

Attila Sary