at peak on twitter, “super bowl” : “superbowl” : “superb owl” tweets were 485 : 228 : 1.— Isaac Hepworth
“Super Bowl” is two words. But according to Twitter data wizard Isaac Hepworth, roughly one in two people tweeting about it assumed it was one word (hashtags may be partly to blame). The most interesting about this, though, is that a not insignificant number of Twitter users responded to the #superbowl Rorschach test in precisely the same bizarre way: Where others saw pigskin, they saw an owl.
For every 485 people who tweeted about the Super Bowl, and for every 228 people who tweeted about the Superbowl, one person tweeted about the Superb Owl. This might not sound like a lot, but consider this: Twitter says there were about 24.1m tweets about the Super Bowl last night. If one in 713 of these tweets was a “superb owl” tweet, there were over 30,000 of them. This is probably generous, however, given that a lot of tweets about the halftime show may not have included any reference to the Super Bowl/Superbowl/Superb Owl.
Still, though, there were at least thousands — maybe more than ten thousand — tweets of the same silly pun. That’s what Twitter is in 2013: thousands of people chuckling to themselves in front of the TV, arriving independently at the same absurb (superb?) pun:
Credit, of course, to the late @tree_bro for his pioneering “superb owl” work: