Twerms: The good, the bad and the ugly?

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Ok, so Twitter's the current big thing, and although I use it, I still don't exactly "get" Twitter.
Also, maybe Twitter is just a fad, something to take our minds off the bad economy and a couple of prolonged and unwinnable wars. Maybe the Twitter craze can be compared to flag pole sitting and dance marathons from the Great Depression? But, there's no denying that the Internet, smart phones, and text messaging have all been brought together in Twitter to create new(ish) way to communicate.

Whether it's short-lived or going to endure, Twitter has already spawned a large number of new words to describe the activities that surround it. In fact, the AP Stylebook has added Twitter to their reference: "The new entry for Twitter notes that the social networking Web site limits messages to short Tweets."

This site, My Twittonary, has a less official twittonary (or is it a twossary?) of twit-words. Since Twitter is fixated on the 140 character limit, it seems inefficient to create words to describe things in Twitter that are longer than the useful words. In the interest of efficiency instead of twit-terms, or twit-words, I'm going to call them "twerms."

As I scanned through the twerms, I recognized they fall in two four categories: the good, the bad, the necessary and the irrelevant.

Some terms are uniquely necessary for Twitter users:
  • Twitterer -A user of Twitter (compare: Tweeter).
  • Tweet - A single Twitter message
  • Twoogle –Twitter as the human Google. Pose a question, get near-instantaneous results.
  • Twittduit –If you need to Tweet a friend that does not follow you, post a Twittduit asking your followers to pass a message.
  • Twode –To hack on the Twitter API.
Some words are just cute. There are some words just asking to be born, and once you say it aloud you realize it works as a natural English word:
  • Tword – I prefer "twerm," but these are words formed by appending “Tw” to the original word.
  • Twitterfly –Being a social butterfly on Twitter evidenced by extreme usage of @ signs.
  • Twitterpated - To be overwhelmed with Twitter messages. An existing word nicely transplanted to the Twitterverse.
  • Tweeterboxes –Twitterers who tweet too much
  • Twitterati –The glamorous A-List Twitterer's everyone wants to follow.
  • Twittectomy -unfollowing friends
  • Tweeple, or Tweeps - The people who you specifically talk to through Twitter
  • Tweetheart –That special someone who makes your heart skip a beat
Other words are irrelevant, because they're trying to supplant phrases that already work:
  • Twittercal mass – What's wrong with "critical mass"? It's a term borrowed from physics that accuractely explains the phenomena: "the minimum amount of fissionable material required to sustain a chain reaction."
  • Twaiting, Twaunt, Twerminology – mean the same as "waiting," "taunt" and "terminology" except that there are more characters in the Twerms. What's the point in that?
And some new words are just obnoxious. Most of the words in this category are not designed to be spoken aloud, but only typed on a keyboard. Take a moment and say "I'm going to send a twurvey to my tweeps." Do you feel ridiculous?
  • TwoingTwoing –To Twitter about wonderful things.
  • Twitimonial - Endorsing someone through Twitter.
  • Twelepathy - When a tweeter is so predictable you can tell what they're going to tweet before they tweet it
  • Twurvey – Survey sent out over Twitter
  • Twis –To dis a fellow Twitterer. For me these doesn't even read well, since I see it as rhyming with "buys."
  • Twead – To read a Twitter. Yeah, right. Use this in a sentence.
  • Twaigslist – To sell something via Twitter. Also Twebay.
  • Twike – To ride a bike with Twitter.
  • Twitterlooing - Twittering from a bathroom.
  • Twadd – To add someone as a friend - mutual followers.
  • Tweekend – Spending your entire Saturday and Sunday reading and posting via Twitter.
Finally, I want to end by creating some of my own Twerms:
  • Twirt - Someone who only re-tweets, and never writes their own.
  • Twat - someone who Twitters at you, not with you. Can also be written Tw@.
  • Twitstar- The elite of the Twitterati.
  • Outwit - Post a news-breaking tweet before any of your followers
  • Fatwit - Someone who proclaims a fatwah (ruling on Islamic law) over Twitter
  • Phatweet - A really good tweet.
  • Titter - Twitter after the 2008 election... 'cause there's no more W.
  • Twart - Something you do before you say "excuse me"
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