Twitter, the Pithy Maker

March 4, 2011

It’s amazing what Richard Armitage has prompted me to do. Well, he and some others.

I’ve been neglecting my blog lately but not really. Been doing something that will just make this blog better (picture me with a type of grin that even I’m not crude earthy enough to describe here). Of course I’ve been hanging out on Twitter, which harvested all sorts of guilt from me when I first started. But I think I’m almost over that; however, not quite or this post probably wouldn’t exist (yes, I have a sentence with but and however). What’s great is that I can rationalize anything if I want — can’t we all?

Seriously, the limitation of 140 characters on Twitter is helping me cut out the fat, and with someone like me who too often feels compelled to explain every cussed move I’m making, this is a good thing. You don’t want to read all of that, and I don’t either, and on Twitter, you can’t. Well, you can with Twitlonger and some other services. I just feel like I’ve failed when I have to go to Twitlonger, and really I feel my eyes start to shutter when I begin to read explanations that go on and on and well, aren’t funny and surely aren’t uh, pithy. But the best part of this pithy machine, aka Twitter, is that I now have a great explanation for SO (whose middle name is Pith) as to why I like to spend time there. Thankfully, he has noticed it in my writing, and now I can say, “See, see, this is a good thing.”

Recently though I will admit I’ve been like all the other dreaded onlookers on Twitter who are observing the destruction of Charlie Sheen. The guy set a Guiness Record for the quickest amassing of one million plus followers, and I know his secret. It’s not that he’s a famous wreck; there have been other famous wrecks on Twitter who didn’t get his kind of attention. It’s that on his way to hell, he’s pithy, and that naturally makes for a sensation on Twitter. Very sad but true. Not being funny here. More about Charlie later in another tangent. Yes, I get on a roll with these things, and it’s hard to stop. Anyone who has enough opinions for at least four people cannot help but get on tangents, and really, I would explode if I didn’t, so it’s a good thing. :D Need to slap myself for explaining that, but hey, I’m trying to fill out this paragraph so it’s more than a few sentences. If I wrote better, then I could write only three sentences, and you would be so wowed you wouldn’t care that it’s a short paragraph. See why I need to cut out the fat?

Where was I?

Yeah, Twitter is great for making me think about what I’m actually communicating, and I’ve had to take some risks in running something out there even if it wasn’t quite clear to the recipient. But I have a caution on that, which most thinking people will already know, but hey, I’m a thinking person, and I got carried away on Twitter, and you can too. So take note. I’m going to blame the cold medicine for my mistake, but really, if I’m honest, I had a shabby moment. So here’s the caution: if you’re going to be pithy and say something really sarcastic (key word is really), do it with someone who already knows you and gets your humor. I made the mistake of doing it with someone who didn’t know squat about me, and I got blocked. Yes, I was blocked by someone. I didn’t know it until a couple of weeks later, but man, it stung, and the worst part of it is that the person probably thought I was serious. Sadly, when you’re blocked, you can’t contact the person. I even thought about contacting them through another id to apologize, but that smacks too much of stalking. So I didn’t. I’m now chalking this up as a pitfall of getting up to speed on Twitter. See how easy it is to rationalize?

And now that Twitter almost has me at fighting weight on the pith, I may run a few laps to get ready for the big leagues on Tumblr.

Dropping some of the mask:

I can hear the wheels turning in the heads of some of you who are probably around my age. You have this notion that Twitter lowers your ability to be articulate because it just appears to be a lot of gibberish. I’m sure it can facilitate some gibberish. Ohmygosh, can it facilitate gibberish! But I don’t believe it does arbitrarily. It’s just a tool and up to each of us how we may use it. I’m choosing to experiment with it, and no, it’s not all as RAFrenzy. And you may ask why am I really messing about on Twitter? To make this the greatest blog since napkins were created? Or to simply deal with idle time? Maybe to be cute? LOL! I do think it will help this blog, but honestly, I have very little idle time and lost all hope of being cute years ago. Not being funny again. I have almost no idle time in my life, and I don’t want any. What I’m doing is learning the language of the future. Scratch that. It’s not the language of the future; it’s already here. It is the language my kids understand, and I want to understand it as well. Oh, I make them speak my language too, but it’s only fair that I learn how their generation communicates. That is enough to compel me to get in the flow of this.

edit: I guess WordPress hiccuped on me. This above is now my final post, but what posted before was not. Arrgh! That kind of stuff drives me nuts.


  1. I’m on Twitter too (same name). I’ve heard those jokes that it was for barely literate X Gen with ADD. But the Green Revolution and informative tweets from stars like Roger Ebert and Stephen Fry showed me that’s not necessarily true. Like you said, it is what you make out of it. Using the medium to improve your writing? You are definitely on to something. Do keep blogging about this.

    Charlie Sheen saddens me, as watching the public self-destruction of a human being would. Is that the real Charlie Sheen on Twitter? Heh, I imagine a lot of the followers are there for ringside seats to witness the travesty, Brings to mind the Christians and the lions. People are so damn bloodthirsty.

  2. Yes, it’s really him — a verified account. RE: writing — Twitter is forcing me to pare thoughts to the essential. Never a bad thing for me.

  3. As I pick myself up off the floor and wipe tears of laughter…I have no idea where to begin. So many thoughts about so many thoughts. But I will say..I love the word “pithy” and tell hubs I’m sorry about his middle name. Really is dfifferent/weird. Just a joke folks. I’m sure his middle name is very normal =o)

    I don’t twitter at all much less twitterlonger. That just makes me laugh!! Miz Frenz honey, you are a hoot!

    I’ll leave Charlie to others…no words to describe this poor man.

  4. Oh no, you;re on Twitter under other than RAFrenzy? The role playing on Twitter and alts are hard for me to adjust to…

  5. YOU got blocked!! LOL That happened to me too, even after i thought I’d cleared up the misunderstanding and boy, were my virtual feelings hurt!! Luckily we’re back on speaking – tweeting terms :-)

  6. I’m on Twitter too, as many you know, as @kaprekar30, and I just find it the best fun sometimes, but it is very difficult to explain why to a non or occasional user. And I’ve also be blocked, and unblocked, but that’s another story. I block followers myself all the time, but mainly for spam, or because I think that they only want a follow back to enhance their follower numbers. Ho hum…

  7. I block users all the time too, and yes, for spam.

    @AnnMarie, I have two other twitter accounts. One follows some of the RA stuff but the other does not. Neither of these accounts is intended to be a presence in the RA universe, so, I don’t have another alter ego. One is enough. LOL!

  8. Charlie Sheen (and this is not intended as criticism of those who follow Sheen on Twitter, although I know it may sound that way): it’s hard for me to be amused. His lengthy record with women is beyond unspeakable, including making armed death threats to mothers of children of his. Horrifying. For every time we heard about Twitter aiding a revolution (Iran, Egypt), there’s a story like this one — where it legitimates the excesses of someone who is making mental illness or drug addiction or both into a moneymaker. Nice work if you can get it …

    I have colleagues who use Twitter in the classroom — in an auditorium with hundreds of students and discussion is simply impossible, it’s a good way to get feedback on what students are thinking. It still strikes me as tremendously distracting — how I can pay attention to speaking well and teaching when I also have to watch at the same time a stream of comments about what I’m saying? — but those who use it feel strongly that it improves their students’ experiences.

    That’s my only strong objection to it — that it is yet one more source of information when what I really have at work is too much data and not enough time to think about it so that I can organize it. It’s fine for instant reactions to something, but measured consideration takes time to think and weigh things in one’s mind, and thus usually more than 140 characters. I agree about the necessity to streamline one’s prose — and admit that I am a big sinner in this regard, writing very long posts that in some cases could be journal articles — but it seems to me that Twitter invites the kneejerk reaction, not the thoughtful response. It’s a way of gathering attention (au Mr. Sheen), but not really a way of saying something profound.

    Of course, not everything we say needs to be profound. I just have less and less time for the superficial as I get older.

  9. I started typing a response, and it turned into something more fitting for a post. I’ll refine it and post in a couple of hours. Gotta go do something else first. phew. Barely keeping up this week, and no, I’m not talking about cyber world.

  10. Hope I didn’t say anything objectionable … :)

  11. Not at all. I think this subject needs to be talked about and talked about. :D So much for a 140 characters.

  12. Twitter: gosh, where do I start? As someone of a ‘certain age’ my other friends of certain ages think I’m mad to tweet. That maybe so, but because of timezones I’m not on it as much as others. I enjoy it when I’m there but find a lot of it is roleplay which makes talking to real people on Twitter unique and a delight. As to 140 characters, I end up typing the whole message and then deleting till I get the required count.
    But as a writer, and one often guilty of excess wordage, it is a training excerise for sure.
    My biggest training ground, and THRILL, is being part of a compliment of writers who are actually writing an Austenesque novel on Twitter. Given that Jane Austen is known for her long and complex sentences, it requires some thinking. Given also that we are given timeslots, and follow on in the narrative, there is little or no pre-plotting, so we have to think, and write, on the hoof as it were.
    I agree with the idea that one has to be careful with tone and humour on Twitter, but that applies to the social media generally and to emails as well.
    Great post Frenz! And food for thought. Wonderful response from Servetus too, as usual!

  13. OK i’ll try this again…wordpress IS hiccyuping today for sure! Anonymous twas I, NB. I tried to post earlier and it hasn’t appeared yet. Cyberspace=wierdness?

  14. I love that twitter forces me to say what I want in less words, too. It’s good discipline. But I prefer reading your elaborations on this blog :)

    I haven’t been following the Charlie Sheen debacle but when ever I hear of a celeb acting whacky I can’t help but wonder what drugs their on, or if it’s not drugs maybe a bipolar assessment might be in order (I echo what Servetus has said). In either case I feel uneasy about being a voyeur of someone else’s decline. Exploiting their exploits, possibly driven by an unsound mind, for our own entertainment is shameful. I don’t want to partake in that.

  15. You were blocked! Poor RAFrenzy! Whatever you twitted must have made that person really pithed off! :)

  16. I tried to post a response yesterday but I boiled it down to zero words, so it didn’t show up. ;)

  17. @ThePhylly3 and bccmee

    Simply: ROFLMAO……………………..

  18. ROFLOL!!!!! yeah, I think you two are channeling a little Bill Murray today.

  19. Mesmered, I think what you’ve referenced about the writers is the greatest aspect of Twitter — its ability to facilitate collaboration!

  20. […] night, after installing a Twitter client, that I was seeing very few of the tweets directed at me. Frenz was right that it’s a bit like learning the language of the future, but I felt shut out of conversations that made no sense to me and had decided this was one that […]

  21. […] found either by hitting the ‘twitter’ tag or you can go to the pieces of any great note here and here and maybe […]

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