The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Tweeting with tweople: Twitter spawns new vocabulary - but beware of twitterhea

  • Print

MONTREAL - Twitter is so twendy.

The microblogging service has spawned a vocabulary all its own, with words such as tweople (Twitter-speak for people), twirting (flirting) and tweeps (friends) showing up in tweets (posts, which must be under 140 characters). There's also twitterhea - the unstoppable urge to tweet.

The lingo makes Twitter users feel like they're part of a community, says assistant professor Jennifer Clary-Lemon of the University of Winnipeg.

"Only the people in the club are going to care about the secret handshake," says Clary-Lemon, who teaches in university's department of rhetoric, writing and communications.

The invented words really roll off the tongue, thanks to the tw at the start of them, she adds. It's a word-making advantage that Twitter has over two other popular social networks, Facebook and MySpace, Clary-Lemon notes.

U.S. marketing expert Greg Verdino says he believes one of the earliest made-up Twitter words was "tweetup," which refers to meeting someone in the real world.

"I actually met my girlfriend on Twitter," says Verdino, who has been tweeting for the last two years. "We call ourselves tweethearts."

Social commentator Hal Niedzviecki says very few of these Twitter words will last and questions whether the microblogging service itself will be around in 10 years.

"I definitely have the feeling that Twitter is more fad than function," he says from Toronto.

But even if Twitter dies out, the idea of constantly sending out messages won't go away and will remain a form of entertainment, says Niedzviecki, author of the soon-to-be released "The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors."

Meanwhile, Twitter neophytes in need of linguistic help can go to the online twictionary at http://twictionary.pbwiki.com/.

And at least one Twitter user is tired of the trend and announced he was creating a new word: "Twatting - the act of obsessively replacing real-life words with make-believe Twitter words."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Wpg_Police_discuss_Red_River_search

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think food-security issues are an important topic to address during this mayoral campaign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google