Saturday 22 January 2011

Twitter punctuation manners

A small post about punctuation - in my general writing, and tweets

If you haven't noticed, I leave out a period at the end of every paragraph - on this blog, when I comment here and there, in emails - period (pun intended)
I think the following whitespace makes it perfectly clear that a paragraph ends, and that there is no need for an extra period, just as no one adds a period after a question mark or exclamation mark

Likewise, I have my rules for using punctuation in ReTweeting

When I ReTweet something, I use < or > to denote my additional comment. I try not to just old-style ReTweet a tweet, but add my own perception, unless it will "damage" the original tweet in my opinion.
When i want to attract attention to myself, I'll precede the tweet with my comment, followed by > - when I want the original tweet to get the attention and merely add my opinion (whether laureating or devastating, or anything in between), I suffix it with < and add my comment after that

What if someone else has already ReTweeted or commented a tweet? Sometimes people use \, / or | or even double that, like //, \\ or ||, to demark the boundary between what's theirs and others'. Also, people sometimes use the system I use, meaning a > or a <
To easily distinguish between a previous comment and mine, I simply double the < or >. Any other characters previously used i replace by a single < or >, not because I think those people are using "the wrong system", but simply the please the reader and ease the Twitterverse

So, for example,
The best Influence measurement tools ever | Wow this is great!
I could ReTweet as
Best Influence measurement tools ever < Wow this is great! << Disclose algorithm and relate it back to the IRL formula, tnx
My comment was longer than the 140 character maximum of Twitter would allow, so I trimmed that down a bit, and also took a bit off of the original tweet: leaving out articles is the first thing I do.
Had I been a bit more cranky (you should have seen me last week, which was a very bad one for me) I could have tweeted
There's a sucker born every minute [sigh] >> The best Influence measurement tools ever < Wow this is great!
And even someone else could have added to that
Ain't that right >>> There's a sucker born every minute [sigh] >> Best Influence measurement tools ever < Wow this is great!
[note the article losing to The Law of Twitter Economics once again]
One single tweet, with viewpoints from four people, the order of which being visible and clear to everyone. I'm very fond of the hashtag adoption, and would love to see us all agree on a ReTweet-comment-viewpoint system as well

This is my way of Twitter punctuation, and I like it - hope you do too. What is yours?

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