Twitter Translated

Although The Awkward Adverb doesn't have a Twitter account, we haven't missed the buzz about the social networking platform. We recently happened upon a blog posting that gives advice about how to use Twitter strategically. Among the writer's recommendations, she posts several sample Twitter messages. Here's one:

RT @kellyecrane Great idea: PR consultants, let’s use the #soloprpro hashtag to share information!

To the uninitiated, this looks like a bunch of gibberish. After doing a bit of research, we will attempt to translate:

  • The "RT" means it's a retweet, or reposting of someone else's Twitter message.
  • The @kellyecrane gives credit to the person who first posted this tweet and sends her an alert about the retweet. She apparently is a public relations professional.
  • The # character is called a hash mark, maybe because it kind of looks like a plate of hash browns?
  • Words prefixed with the # create "hashtags," or keywords that help Twitter users find related tweets.
  • The is a stand-in link that's shorter than the true web address, but it will take you to the same page. The author uses it to stay within Twitter's 140 character limit.

Twitter has been embraced by millions of users, but its growth is reported to be slowing. One barrier to greater adoption might be that this odd, new language intimidates and confuses potential users.