What Does "To Tweet" Mean? The AP Style Guide Weighs In

new.blicio.us Follow Apr 01, 2024 · 1 min read
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For those who closely follow language and style guides, a 2009 update from the Associated Press Stylebook regarding the verb form of “tweet” may be of interest.

The guide has now formally acknowledged “Twitter” and defined the appropriate verb forms for using the social media platform in writing. Specifically, it states that the verb forms are “to Twitter” or “to Tweet” when referring to the act of posting a message on Twitter.

This recognition of “to Tweet” as a verb codifies how the word has evolved in common usage since Twitter’s launch. When the microblogging service emerged over a decade ago, “to Twitter” was initially more common as journalists and users referred to the verb form. However, the truncated single-word form of “to Tweet” soon became just as widespread if not more so.

By explicitly listing both “to Twitter” and “to Tweet” as acceptable, the AP Style Guide acknowledges this shift while allowing for either option. For writers and editors aiming for consistency, this provides clarity on how to verbify references to posting on Twitter in journalistic copy. It also confers a stamp of legitimacy on “to Tweet” alongside the more literal “to Twitter.”

Interestingly, the guide has not yet settled on a standard noun form for Twitter users, noting it remains undecided between “Twits” and other potential options. But in solidifying the verbs, it recognizes how fully integrated Twitter and concepts like Tweeting have become in written communication. The update reflects how social media continues infiltrating language at a rapid pace.

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