As Twitter has gained in popularity, so too have the musings and terminology around it. However, Twitter is not just another networking site. It has a language that has built up around it. For new members it might seem difficult to understand what is going on, but it does not take long to start ‘getting it’ – keep at it and the penny will twop.
A Twit or a Twerp?
For example, if you use Twitter, it makes you a twit. Not in a detrimental way; twits are the people who use the social networking website. Each 140 character (or fewer) message you send is called a tweet. Some people may say they have been ‘tweeting all day’, which means they have been sending regular messages. Use the service inappropriately and you run the risk of being a twerp – you’ll notice when your followers start un-following you in their masses.
And who are the masses who use Twitter? They are called tweeple. Similarly you may also see people starting the day with a message which says ‘Morning tweeps!’ Perhaps calling everyone ‘twits’ in this case would be seen as being a little too rude?
You may also commonly hear about the world of Twitter being referred to as the Twitterverse. According to figures this is getting bigger by the day, and there are lots of Twitterholics among those numbers. These are people who cannot get enough of Twitter, as you might expect.
Watch out for the Twammers
Finally one of the less well known terms has been seen to refer to people who use the site merely to spam others with their offerings. Such spammers are known in some circles as Twammers, which does have a nice ring to it.
During the course of your time with Twitter, you may come across interesting messages you want to send on to others. Let us suppose someone provides a good web link which would be excellent for your followers. You would ‘retweet’ it. This is done by prefixing your message will the letters RT (retweet) and then the username of the person who originally tweeted it, followed by the message they originally tweeted (the username should be typed in this manner – @username). People can then click on the username to find out more about them.
Basic terms you have to know
Some terminology that may help you get by includes:
- tweet – a 140 character message sent using Twitter
- ICYMI – “In Case You Missed It” – indicates a duplicate tweet, some time later
- hashtag – a method for following topics, the topic is prefixed with a hash symbol(check out some hashtags on http://www.hashdictionary.com/)
- RT – a tweet sent out echoing someone else’s Tweet – RT stands for ReTweet
- twypo – a mis-spelled word in Twitter
- twittiquette – a play on the word ettiquette referring to generally acceptable behaviour on Twitter
- twittervision – a geographic interpretation of Twitter tweets
- tweme – a meme, an idea, discussed on Twitter
- tweetup – a get together of Twitter users
- followfriday – a hashtag used on fridays to recommend people to follow
A Wiki project to track Twitter terminology can be found on Twictionary at http://twictionary.pbwiki.com/
Read about add-on tools and software for Twitter
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