1083: Writing Styles

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 1083)
Jump to: navigation, search
Writing Styles
I liked the idea, suggested by h00k on bash.org, of a Twitter bot that messages prominent politicians to tell them when they've unnecessarily used sms-speak abbreviations despite having plenty of characters left.
Title text: I liked the idea, suggested by h00k on bash.org, of a Twitter bot that messages prominent politicians to tell them when they've unnecessarily used sms-speak abbreviations despite having plenty of characters left.

[edit] Explanation

This comic is less about how teenagers write on the internet and more about how politicians write on the internet. The comic shows that a lot of politicians use "sms-speak", which involves substituting numbers for letters and shortening phrases to get a longer idea across in fewer characters. The practice began first with text messages, also known as SMS or Short Message Service which limited messages to 160 characters. Twitter has adopted the 140 character limit since its inception, which allowed any given tweet to be received as a text message with enough room for the user's Twitter handle (15 characters max).

The point of the comic is this, there is no reason for anyone, especially politicians, to use "sms-speak" in tweets unless they are reaching the 140 character limit. Additionally, Ron Paul followers tend to be younger, possibly due to his support for the legalization of marijuana.

Neither example given exceeds 60 characters. Indeed, extending the "sms-speak" to logical full character words and punctuation only uses slightly more than half the character limit:

  • Ron Paul is the only candidate who offers us a real choice! (59 characters)
  • its gettin l8 so ill b here 4 prob 2 more hrs tops (50 characters)
  • It is getting late, so I will be here for probably two more hours, tops. (72 characters)

[edit] Transcript

[This is a chart with the above two labeled columns. The rows will be represented below in the same format.]
If you post: you sound like
"Ron Paul is the only candidate who offers us a real choice!": A teenager
"its gettin l8 so ill b here 4 prob 2 more hrs tops": A senator
The internet has wound up in kind of a weird place.
comment.png add a comment! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!

Discussion

Politicians don't seem to be doing this too much nowadays. Don't know about the other runners, but Obama's tweets are mostly coherent, with just a pile of gibberish hashtags appended on the end. Davidy22 (talk) 10:30, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

Additionally politicians may be tempted to use SMS abbreviations in order to come across as younger and aware of youth culture, while their target audience actually doesn't use these abbreviations at all. 83.84.33.170 23:23, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

There's also a bit of political commentary here, which has so far been skirted over, suggesting that much of the cheerleading for (the highly libertarian) Ron Paul comes from youthful and, by implication, politically naive commentators. 14:15, 15 March 2013 (UTC)Chris C

But how is that much different from the 2008 election of our current president which had a very youthful and as you said "naive" 63.149.29.1 21:44, 11 October 2013 (UTC)Robert
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?