Anyone who spends time on Twitter will gradually see a pattern of different tweet styles emerging, not all of which contribute much to the greater good. Having only been a keen Twitterer for a year or two I can’t claim to be an expert, but speaking as a professional writer I cringe at the time and energy that’s wasted on what I think are bad or inappropriate tweets.
Of course, everyone has their own view of what constitutes good tweeting. Already large sums of money have been spent generating analyses that tell you your tweets should consist of XX percent personal and YY percent business content, they should go out at intervals of no more or less than ZZ minutes, they should contain no more than XX @ symbols and YY hashtags, and so-on. Who would have thought so much science could be found in a mere 140 characters, huh. And not surprisingly, few people seem to take any notice of it.
Before I launch into my attack on what I think are bad tweets, it’s only fair that I should reveal how I put my own together. And please feel free to critique this! They fall into one of these brackets:
- Observations, articles, news stories etc. that interest me and/or make me laugh
- Conversational posts with people I know, but out of courtesy to them and other readers I try to include a précis of the original topic, or respond via a retweet
- Retweets of friends’ and followers’ posts when I feel they’re worth sharing
- Posts about HowToWriteBetter.net and one or two of my own recent books
I try to create a good balance of all four. In every case my main criterion is to write something everyone can understand, either in the style of a newspaper headline, or as a short but self-contained thought. Here, now, are some of the stereotype tweets that irritate me. Do they irritate you?
THE ENGLISH EXPERT: You need free artikles for the webbsite and we got some you want so clicks here go for free stuff you enjoy read. (If you can understand what this is all about, that is.)
THE STRONG, SILENT TYPE: http://xxxxxxx.yyy (That’s it – no text. You are commanded to click on the link and I don’t need to tell you why. Now just f***ing well do it.)
For nearly 400 more articles, jokes, funny poems and more humor, click right here on #HTWB
THE CAPITALISATION LOVER: The Official Report On The State Of Maggot Farms In Buckinghamshire Is Now Available For Sale At Newsagents Throughout The County (We know total capitalisation is fashionable right now but it makes your tweet very hard to read.)
THE ADVERB FARMER: Write your book easily quickly painlessly and get it sold fast profitably lucratively easily promptly make money successfully (Think I’m joking? This actually is a very close rewrite of a real tweet.)
THE TIPS TOUTER: 10 terrific tips on how to get rich quick!!! (We know people like tips list, or at least they did 10 years ago, but who do you think you’re kidding? And those exclamation marks are just soooo tacky.)
THE CLIFF HANGER: It was only after several frozen, terrified seconds that I realized the hooded man had a fully loaded gun pointing directly at my forehead b….. (Truncated. I want to know what happens next but there’s no onward link, either.)
THE DOMESTIC GOD/GODDESS: Just off to throw dinner together – we’re having foie gras, caviar, lobster, fillet steak, artichokes and vintage champagne. Back in a jiffy! (Bon appétit, snotty.)
THE T.M.I QUEEN: Oh dear, baby Ellie has just barfed all down my angora sweater and her vomit is a rather strange beige colour. Should I take her to the doc? (Thanks for sharing; couldn’t have made it through the day without knowing that.)
THE ANGRY COOL DUDE: Knickers Tits Bums You Know What I’d Like To Do To My Girlfriend But She’s A Slag And Dumped Me I’ll Slash Her Face With My D*ck (ZZZZzzzzzz. Sober up and go take a shower, idiot.)
THE ARTISTIC SLAPPER: I’m writing a book about beautiful flowers and I’m in Milwaukee and I would love you to come and inspire my writing – will you? (Er, I think that lurid photo of you in very scanty underwear and holding a whip kinda gives the game away, don’t you?)
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THE HOROSCOPE BORE: Today’s prediction for Taurus: your stubborn nature will serve you well if you find yourself in a situation of conflict or confusion… (At least 11/12ths of the population – probably more – couldn’t care less.)
THE “WORKING AT HOME TODAY” STORY: Am working from home today as the plumbers are in replacing the entire central heating system, bathroom and shower. Busy, busy! (You rotten liar – we all know you’ve got a raging hangover after drinking three bottles of wine last night.)
THE QUOTE QUOTER: “All that glitters is not gold.” William Shakespeare (Why do you never say anything original? And it was “glisters,” not “glitters,” you nitwit.)
Please share some of your pet tweet-hates!
How to un-strangle that birdie:
“Business Writing Made Easy“…everything you need to know about writing for business in English
“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English
“English to English: the A to Z of British-American translations”…more than 2,000 business and social terms from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand