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Last word

Gloom boom for the brain06, the social networking service Twitter has grown to the point where it is the most used behind the well-established MySpace and Facebook. It differs from these in its immediacy – input is essentially a short response to the question “what are you doing?”. Also, Twitter is more accessible, working through SMS as well as online, while other social networks are purely internet-based. The service’s logo invokes the communal twittering of birds (individual messages are called tweets), while critics suggest the name also suits the banal, ephemeral nature of its content. Like many new online forums Twitter has developed its own vocabulary, with its own dictionary (see http://twittonary.com). Among the more entertaining formations are twisticuffs (textual fisticuffs), twitturgies (short liturgies sent to a congregation of twitterers), twitchiking (using transport and accommodation provided by fellow twitterers) and even twitterpated (being overwhelmed by Twitter messages). This last is actually a recycling of a word curiously coined in the film Bambi, where it was used to mean the sense of giddy excitement felt in springtime.

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