Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lexicographers and Twitter

Oxford University Press lexicographers have been looking at the language of Twitter:

OUP lexicographers have been monitoring more than 1.5 million random tweets since January 2009 and have noticed any number of interesting facts about the impact of Twitter on language usage. For example the 500 words most frequently used words on Twitter are significantly different from the top 500 words in general English text. At the very top, there are many of the usual suspects: "the", "to", "as", "and", "in" . . . though "I" is right up at number 2, whereas for general text it is only at number 10. No doubt this reflects on the intrinsically solipsistic nature of Twitter. The most common word is "the," which is the same in general English.
The average number of words in a Twitter sentence: 10.69.

The average number of words in a sentence "in general usage": 22.09.

Read more:

RT this: OUP Dictionary Team monitors Twitterer's tweets (OUPblog)

[RT: "ReTweet, in the social networking and micro-blogging service Twitter, to re-post something posted by another user, usually preceeded with "RT" and "@username" to give credit to original poster."]

A related post
Geoffrey Nunberg on Twitter

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