The language of the Twitterverse

pettus-garyBy Gary Pettus

An invasion has been loosed upon this nation, and the intruders are not sending us their best.

They’re sending their syntax murderers, their text assaulters and, most of all, their really bad spellers.

They “prey” to God, down on their knees at the “alter.” They believe certain segments of society should be “reigned” or “rained” in, and their explosive tendencies “diffused” before there’s a massive “erupsion.”

They “roo” the fact that many people exercise bad “judgement” — especially “cereal” killers.


They boycott Kellogg’s “serials.” Their feelings are easily hurt. As are “they’re fillings.”

“Their, their,” they say, when comforting their closest “fiends.”

Many of them occupy positions in the media, assaulting the American reading public with their “canvases” for “canvasses,” their “judgements” for “judgments,” and sow fourth.

But the worst offenders communicate in a hybrid tongue that is the illegitimate son of the good, old-fashioned American English that came over here on the Mayflower. They use a lingo whose name rhymes, more or less, with “gibberish.”

They correspond in Twitterish.

They import their nasty habits from a 140-character hell that some have called the Twitterverse, but, because of its foreign  relationship to purebred English, is more aptly named Twitter-ico.

Twitter-anda. St. Twits and Nevis.

They splash their faces with “colon,” share recipes for “seizure” salad, eat “dognuts” instead of “doughnuts” — leading to terrible misunderstandings.

The “run aarons” on a regular “bases,” enjoy shopping for a good “dill” — and they don’t mean pickles — wear their older sibling’s “hammy downs,” and, in all ways great and small, take the magnificent English language for “granite.”

It’s enough to give a guy a “mindgrain.”

Many are highly critical of others’ morals, beliefs, looks and habits. And yet, they themselves display extremely bad “manors” and are reluctant to “barry the hatchet.”

What a bunch of Hippocrates.

The most successful of these undocumented linguists, the Twitterati, have millions of followers, who hang onto their idols’ every alien alliteration and malevolent Malapropism, then hashtag it to death and perdition.

Every second of every day, they are committing vile and unspeakable acts on your dear, old grammar.

Is that what you want?

No, it’s not — or in Twitterish — “No, its not.”

And so, it is time to take back the English language. It can be done. All we have to do is build a wall. A giant paywall.

This paywall will be overseen by the National Speech Patrol — with cooperation from Twitter, of course. Or else.

And, for every, “your” in place of “you’re,” for every “die of beaties” instead of diabetes, for every “time heals all wombs,” for every “faked organism,” there will be a price to pay. A fee. Call it a Syntax Sin Tax.

For how truly free and sustainable is a society that doesn’t know the difference between a wound and a womb?

Answer that question, and then you’ll know it’s time to get off your dairy air, build that wall and make America grate again.

Gary Pettus is a Jackson-based columnist. This feature is syndicated by Mississippi Press Services. If your newspaper is interested in subscribing, contact us.

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Author: MPA Inkblots

A blog from the Mississippi Press Association, the trade group for 110 member newspapers and over 80 related websites.

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