Grammar Geek: Twitter Verbs

Posted on 21 December 2010

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Or: why we need both ‘to tweet’ and ‘to twitter’

There’s been some discussion among grammar/web geeks about correct terminology around social media platform of the hour Twitter. Here’s my weigh-in/explanation for anyone who cares.

When you’re tweeting, you’re posting a tweet via a Twitter account.

When you’re twittering, you could be doing anything at all via Twitter: reading tweets, following or unfollowing accounts, organising the accounts you follow into lists, following links from other people’s tweets, designing your profile, stalking your latest crush.

So clearly we need both words.

Quick guide to conjugating Twitter verbs

Infinitives to tweet to twitter
Present simple
I tweet twitter
You tweet twitter
She/he tweets twitters
They tweet twitter
We tweet twitter
Present continuous
I am tweeting am twittering
You are tweeting are twittering
She/he is tweeting is twittering
They are tweeting are twittering
We are tweeting are twittering
Simple Past
Everyone tweeted twittered
Present Perfect
I have tweeted have twittered
You have tweeted have twittered
She/he has tweeted has twittered
They have tweeted have twittered
We have tweeted have twittered
Past Continuous
Everyone used to tweet used to twitter
Or was/were tweeting was/were twittering

And so on.

For more check out Mashable’s post on the issue and follow AP Stylebook’s Twitter account.

Grammar Geek, out.

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