Licence to tweet: Twitter improves language skills, claims study

  • IANS, New York
  • Updated: Sep 13, 2014 17:34 IST

Expressing your thoughts and views in 140 characters on Twitter may actually be improving your language skills, shows a new study.

Also read: Software deciphers human behaviour on Twitter

To prove this, researchers looked at the top 100 most commonly used words on Twitter.

Out of the 100 most used words, only two were shortened "RT" (shortened for re-tweet) and "u" (shortened for you). The rest of the words averaged about 4.5 letters and none were contractions.

Also read: How Twitter is driving couples to break relationships

"Twitter may actually be improving its users' writing as it forces them to wring meaning from fewer letters," researchers argued.

According to them, a person tweeting has no option but concision and in a backward way, "the character limit actually explains the slightly longer word length we see".

Given finite room to work, longer words mean fewer spaces between them, which means less waste.

Also read: Male Twitter users biased towards women, says study

"Although the thoughts expressed on Twitter may be foreshortened but there is no evidence here that they are diminished," the study concluded.

The study appeared in OkCupid founder Christian Rudder's new book titled "Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking)".

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