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The Scrivener: Hot Pockets And Palace Tweets

Is your tweet interesting? Or is it merely a public expression of your stupidity and vulgarity?

Brian Barratt is unimpressed by offering from the Twitterati, and that includes the offerings on Her Majesty's page.

For more of Brianís grammatical, intelligent and always interesting columns please click on
http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_scrivener/

And do visit his challenging Web site
www.alphalink.com.au/~umbidas/

Social networking is all the rage. Now that Queen Elizabeth II has a page on Twitter, along with nearly 200 million other users, we can read about the exciting events in her life such as:

On 31 Dec: Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace - Starts at approx 11am

On 3 Jan: Changing the Guard at Windsor Castle - Starts at approx 11am

Mrs Peter Phillips has given birth to a baby girl, a first great-grandchild for The Queen

For more thrills, there are photos such as:

The Countess of Wessex leaves Sandringham Parish Church after attending the Christmas morning service...

There are alternatives, of course, tweeted for us by less reliable "royal" sources.

We are ashamed of the actions by British Petroleum, which we previously believed was a brand of personal lubricant.

We have consented to let David Cameron run our government, or something. Frankly, we weren't paying attention. 'EastEnders' is on!

Confession: We truly have no idea how our electoral process works. All PMs look the same to us.

Over two million people follow the erudite Stephen Fry's tweets. He watches darts matches on two television channels:

For the confused: Darts underwent a schism not unlike the church in 1378. BBC's Lakeside=Rome, Sky's Ally Pally=Avignon. Let's love both.

and

What an incredible match. This is why darts is just so damned great.

The revered actor Michael Caine is pleased to tweet:

Great news about Elton and David adopting a child let's hope more people are granted adoption.

and, an hour later, adds:

They did not adopt. Elton and David are my friends.

He keeps us in touch with what he is doing and how he feels:

I am sitting on the Plane nothing to do for 18 hours Paradise.

Going home

London looks great I feel great, what more can you ask. Happy Xmas!

I am back amongst my family getting ready for Xmas and the happiest I can ever be. Wishing all of you a safe and Happy Xmas

Meanwhile, lesser known tweeters offer gobbets of knowledge which are sometimes interesting:

Great. The orange roughy I ate last night was 100 years old.

Did you hear? Doctors warn that drinking soda can lead to paralysis.

Had you heard the ratio of insects to humans is 200 million to one?

Did you know most Americans spend more time with their computer than with their spouse?

Others do their networking in a different form of English:

What's your favorite sex position or are you a virgin?

Keeping it real chill tonight

I'M STUCK!

6 carne asada tacos didn't scratch the surface. What els eis there to eat about 3.

Here's part of someone else's question-and-answer chat in a language that strangers do not know.

I married up.

i should have said, way.

that's freaking great.

one game and out. but hey, congrats. ;)

but everything's articulatable (hehe)

There's no guarantee that the standard of English expression is much better on other Web sites. Here's a paragraph from a film review which appears on a widely used encyclopedic site. It seems to have been written as a school project by a young teenager:

Michael's sister goes into operation and he talks to Grace, a old lady whom he talks to everytime he is at the hospital, he promises her that he will come the next day to see her. The next day when his sister goes into operation, he goes to visit Grace, but she died in her sleep that night. he runs to Skellig and tells him to cure her like he did with his hand, to prove that he can fix his baby sister, he jumps of the tower, only to be caught by Skellig, Skellig tells him to fall asleep while flying and he does.

In that review, Michael is the main character in an excellent film based on a popular novel for children so it is probably appropriate that the review was written by a child. In the next extract, Michael refers to Michael Caine and these sentences come from the Biography in what claims to be the official Michael Caine website:

Michael at that time felt that he was being left behind, there were guys that he had started out with that were beginning to accomplish so much.
Michael's career finally took off again with a play One More River in Liverpool.
On Michael's return to London he got a lot of television work and the parts were getting bigger and therefore better paid. In 1959 Michael was offered the job of understudy in a play called The Long and the Short and the Tall.

Michael's name is used in every sentence. It is used over 250 times in the 6,000 word Biography. An experienced editor would be useful.

Now here is a little puzzle for you. These two paragraphs are comments made by viewers on a very popular website. They have both been looking at something which is very theatrical and intriguing. Can you work out, from their comments, what they had been viewing?

Wow you are really dense! I don't know how you didn't realize that i was doing this on purpose after the first time! (hence me thinking your dense) Hey look i made a rhyme! I also thought that this wasn't going to be discussed anymore. This really seems to get you worked up! Here is what you need to do. Take a deep breathe. Now take off your panties and ring them out. Okay now strap on some balls. Now admit to the whole world that your gay.

the sentence should be "You're gay right?" I can't believe that after 3 sessions of this you still don't know the difference. That's the fucking funny part to me. You are still such a god damned idiot that you can't even insult me without fucking it up. Enjoy the life you have chosen for yourself you down and out piece of shit. Hey, it's a new month so don't forget to give your mom the rent for living in her basement still. Lay off the hot pockets too...you're getting a bit fat.

Have you guessed or did you give up?

Believe it or not, these comments are connected to a video clip of a very good stage magician performing an illusion.
Ostentatiously puerile rubbish such as these comments make tweets about the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace look interesting and almost relevant.

© Copyright Brian Barratt 2011

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