Twittology – the study of Twittabilities


I am all a twitter with tweets, twurls and twitts having just been introduced to the twitter phenomenon. I resisted the call to arms for a very long time – but have taken the plunge – and am now hooked.

There have been many suggestions for a formal ‘Twittenclature‘ to assist in the classification of Twittabilities within the Twittersphere – and as health professionals it is essential that we combine our knowledge of disease to help combat the most significant ailments suffered in the course of Twittering

Twittenclature – ‘the basics’

  • Twit [twitt]: noun; an individual who partakes in the action of ‘twittering‘ and utilizes the conversational paradigm that is ‘Twitter‘ . Sometimes written as ‘twitt’ to avoid confusion with the alternate Old English derivation of twit [informal noun of Old English derivation – silly or foolish person afflicted with a state of nervous excitement] e.g. Good morning Twitts; calling all Twitts.
  • To Twitter: verb; formal derivation – social online interaction defined by rapid short bursts of conversation. ORIGIN: early 21st century (in the sense [virtual social interaction]) from the Latin Twittus: short, sharp interjection. E.g. Amazing news – I must Twitter that
  • Tweet: noun; written communication sent using the medium of Twitter. I have a Tweet in my inbox, I just sent a Tweet. verb; I will Tweet that link. Twoosh: A perfect, 140 character Tweet.
  • Twittesque: in the style of a Tweet. ORIGIN: from French, via Italian esco from medieval Latin iscus. E.g I love the way Bush handled the economic crisis – it was so Twittesque
  • Twitts are gathered across the globe, their numbers growing exponentially as they fabricate a pullulating megalopolis of virtual conversationalists. This populous may be referred to as Tweeple [formal] or My Tweeps [informal] E.g. I must refrain from another beverage – I have Tweeple to meet [formal] or alternate, yo mama, off ma back ya ‘ho I’m meeting wi’me Tweeps [vulgar, informal].

There is another side to Twitter – a darker side, one that the originators never wanted revealed…

  1. Although ‘Tweeple’ are generally peace loving, there have been notable occasions when a Twitt has become overly ‘Twittical’ [adverb; express adverse or disapproving comments or judgements] and posts containing rank Twitticism resulted in the infamous TwitterGate incident in early 2008
  2. Twittering is addictive and Twitterholics walk among us. A Twitterholic suffers physical and psychological addiction to ‘Twitter‘ – and are unable to resist the ‘twitch‘ [urge to Twitter]. Although the total number of tweets required to become a Twitterholic has yet to be recorded, informally Twitterholism is defined by more than 500 posts a day; more than 5000 Following and withdrawal symptoms when further than 20 yards away from an EMR emitting device for more than 2 hours.

Twittenclature – ‘Twittabilities and Twittacopia’

Currently recognised medical conditions are listed below

  • Twittitis [debilitating inflammatory disorder of the index finger]
  • Twittacosis [symptoms of headache, cough and profuse sweating herald the disease and are usually followed by significant neurological deterioration leading to transient vocal cord paralysis]
  • Twittubations [involuntary perpetual nodding movement of the head in response to tweets]
  • Atwitterphonia: [condition arising from the inability to constrain thoughts to 140 character spaces resulting in expressive prolixity, verbosity and garrulousness of speech]
  • Twittettes Syndrome [uncontrollable bursts of rapid-fire 140 character grouped expletives]. This has prompted the Mayo Clinic to open a subspeciality caourse in Twittology to help ease the suffering of those afflicted

Would love to hear any other suggestions or commonly used Twitterbilities so I can host a complete collection – and together we can combine to develop Twittacological agents to prevent their spread….

  1. Twitarrhoea: [persistent and uncontrollable Twittering with rapidity of comment (unacceptable frequency) and paucity of content]
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