When Twitter-speak meets journalese

05 March 2010 0

This BBC story shows what happens when journalistic convention meets 21st-century Twitter-speak.

The writer makes a brave attempt to incorporate some tweets from Sean Lennon, son of John, about the usage of some footage of his dad in a car advert. Here’s the text of Sean’s original tweets:

@bluediscuk She did not do it for money. Has to do w hoping to keep dad in public consciousness. No new LPs, so TV ad is exposure to young

Look, TV ad was not for money. It’s just hard to find new ways to keep dad in the new world. Not many things as effective as TV. (Cont.)

Having just seen ad I realize why people are mad. But intention was not financial, was simply wanting to keep him out there in the world.

That’s a grand total of 84 words, and as you can see it’s not prime material for attribution in a news story. The journo had to use four sets of square brackets to reinstate the word ‘the’, and add all kinds of padding.

Seems like we’re still quite uncomfortable with the Twitter vernacular. But as it fuels news stories more and more, we’re going to have to get less precious about those missing definite articles.


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