At its core, Twitter is an idiosyncratic service. Part of its charm — and popularity among core users — is its cryptic language, which is full of initialisms and user-created shorthand. Terms like “RT,” “#FF,” and “TL” are second nature to the platform’s devoted users, but they’re also part of the network’s biggest problem: inaccessibility among new users.
So far, the site has tried to streamline the service through a series of smaller tweaks aimed at moving Twitter’s opaque language into the background. Retweets were formalized, removing the manual “RT” structure. Tagging photos no longer requires placing an “@” before the user’s name.
Today though, Twitter seems to be trying a new tactic by plainly translating its foreign language.
For devout users, the glossary will read like it was written by a robot that’s trying to become sentient. The language can be clumsy and a few of the terms (“Email Notifications”) feel so obvious that they border on parody. What’s most interesting, though, is to see which user quirks made the cut and found their way into Twitter’s official lexicon. “RLRT,” or “real life retweet” made its way in while the oft-used “subtweet” is nowhere to be found.
While the glossary is first and foremost a translation and accessibility tool, it’s also a wonderful snapshot of the peculiar service and, quite possibly, an effort to preserve the quirks that make it great.
- Greece will decide on Sunday whether they will accept austerity measures as a condition of a bailout that may stave off an imminent financial and economic crisis.
- Some 150 migrants stranded in the French city of Calais stormed the Channel Tunnel in an attempt to make it to British territory.
- It took a while, but an English national soccer team has finally defeated Germany in a major tournament. England took third place with a 1-0 win over the top-ranked German team in the FIFA Women's World Cup ⚽️
- Chile defeated Argentina on penalties to win the Copa America tournament. It's the first ever trophy for Chile in the 99 years of the Copa ⚽️