Friday, 7 March 2014

Yes, but mine has sharp spikes and causes itching

If you use Twitter you will probably be familiar with receiving a reply to a tweet you can't remember. It's easily done. Someone sees an interesting tweet and they fire off an (ideally) witty and pithy reply. But the trouble is that reply can be altogether too pithy. So, for instance, I recently got a reply:

 Now, leaving aside I don't know who or what dumpy is, being a bear of little brain, I have, by now, no clue what this was a reply to, having totally forgotten what I tweeted several hours earlier. As it happens it was:

Similarly I got:

Erm, yes? No? Perhaps? Here the original was:

In this case, even knowing what the reply was to it's not entirely clear what the question was and I had to ask for clarification. As it happens, I use the lovely Tweetdeck to read my tweets, so it's easy to pull up the conversation that the reply was part of (it's just a matter of clicking that View link) - but there is still that initial feeling of total confusion.

To try overcome this, when I reply to a tweet, I try to put some context in which will tie the reply or question back to the original tweet. For instance, never use 'it'. Don't say 'Is it really?', for instance, say 'Is your nose really bright red?'

Just imagine someone is reading your tweet from scratch. That way, no end of confusion can be prevented.

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