David Mitchell Holds Down the Fort

We could care less what the Queen thinks about our English, but it’s good to know we’re mostly off the hook.

And speaking of Gray Ladies, the NYT “standards editor” would like you to know that “tweeting” is verboten:

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. But we favor established usage and ordinary words over the latest jargon or buzzwords.

“Someday,” writes the editor, “‘tweet’ may be as common as ‘e-mail.'” We hate to break it to him, but we lost the hyphen years ago. We’re such renegades.

‘New York Times’ Bans the Word ‘Tweet’ [The Awl]

11 Comments

I tawt I taw a Gwammah Douchebag! I tid! I tid taw a Gwammah Douchebag!!

Haha! I saw what you did there!

Did they say anything about the past tense? You know, “twat”?

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg:

Twitter conjugates it as “tweeted”. I’d confirm via Google search (a great way to check neologisms), but there’s likely to be significant background noise… :)

Oh, and I’d like to add that I called it before I watched it, but I bet you couldn’t care less.

Hold this, you supercilious wanker! No, Nigel, you’re not clever, you’re just an incipient fat man with a bad overbite. Is it just me or did we all see the lower set of – I hesitate to call them teeth – he looks like he could eat an apple through his tennis raquet.

No one gives a fuque about anything the English think about anything. Apart from cleaning your oil off our beaches and wildlife. Oh, and stop coming here thinking you’re better than us because you pronounce it ‘shed-yool’. John Cleese did this rant five or six years ago. His was funny because he has talent and you don’t. You’re just a typical Oxbridge bum-bandit, overpraised and under-rehearsed, with more cavities than sense. Go out buy some fuquing deodorant and try to get yourself laid, if you can. For God’s sake even the English can get laid if they really put their minds to it. Look at yesterday’s extreme overshare on my part (sober, strangely enough) if you don’t believe me. We’re not all useless fuquing eunuchs mincing about the Saloon Lounge at the Bunch of Grapes in our Hush Puppies.

And fuque the NYT Times too. Has their ‘standards’ editor ever tried to read the fuquing thing??? I will use tweets. I will go WTF. I will also ROFLMAO. And I piss on you and your standards.

See now, and I had a lovely productive day and made big strides at work and I come here and this happens. I have to go and lay down (srsly, stop saying that, people, that is so wrong, one ‘lies down’, one does not ‘lay down’, and some things really do get ‘proved’, not everything is forever ‘proven’. Apart from that you’re sick. Carry on holding down the fort.)

@Benedick: I actually resisted “tweet” for awhile, but eventually bowed to the inevitable.

And “lay/lie”, well…

“Grammar for Journalists” (Don’t laugh. Okay, laugh.) was one of the two useful courses I took in J-school (the other being “How Not to Libel Idiots”), and while I can rock who/whom with ease, I gave up on lay/lie. Although it does tie into the libel class if you do it wrong.

@nojo: In the US we say lay. In the UK the chinless wonders wander the streets saying lie. It’s an issue about as important as capitalizing – or should it be capitalising? – days of the week: yes in US, no in UK. Personally, I relish the differences. Though I didn’t understand many of the more subtle changes till I had a spell checker and was forced to confront storey/story (as in a building) and tyre/tire (I don’t like that one as it asks a little word to do a lot of work). And I love the new words we all use and welcome them.

@Benedick: Next time you talk to the Queen, could you tell her that “ground floor” and “first floor” are the same fucking floor? I’m sure she’ll appreciate the salty language.

@nojo: Depends which queen you have in mind.

@Benedick: Where’s that Rimshot Button? Oh, right there.

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