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Twitterture March 6, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, Fun.
Tags: , , ,

As much as I love Twitter, the sad truth is that its strict 140-character limit is both its strength as well as its weakness. The trick is learning when to use twitter and how to use it.

It truly has evolved into its own form of communication with its own unique rules of grammar and spelling. This whole process is called Twitterture, which is the fine art of microblogging on the twitter platform. Think of it as a hybrid language of instant messaging mixed with text messaging.

I think a good way to demonstrate twitterture is by translating a well-known piece of work into twitter-verse. Let’s use Lincoln’s reknown Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln’s “few appropriate remarks” summarized the civil war in 10 sentences and 272 words. It is considered a masterpiece in brevity so what better test for twitter and its ultra brief 140-character limitation. Keep this in mind, Abe Lincoln’s powerful and memorable speech took only two minutes and will be remembered forever. However, Edward Everett gave a two hour long oration before Lincoln and no one ever remembers anything he said! Thus, another victory for Twitter and the beauty of brevity. Yes, sometimes less is more!

TheAbe: 4 score & 7 yrs ago r fathers brght 4th a new nation in liberty. All men created equal. New freedom, govrnmt of/by/4 the people wont perish!

Note: Obviously, shrinking the powerful 272 words of the Gettysburg Address down to 140 characters loses some of its luster and brilliance, but you now get a taste of twitter.

In the real world, Abe Lincoln wouldn’t have used a microblog to share this message. He might have used something like utterz or seesmic.

Here’s the complete original oratory work of art.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth


1. PurpleCar - March 6, 2008

This was awesome! I’d like to hear your opinions on how Twitter translates now, into the real world, what some of its uses are, how it can be a killer app, just like Abe’s speech was a killer app extraordinaire.

P.S. you could have used “=” instead! Does that help? 🙂

2. mousewords - April 3, 2008

Beautiful post! You’re right, the original words are brilliant–but that’s a great metaphor for brevity. “TheAbe,” I love it!

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