Witerati: Long and short of Twitter double character | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Witerati: Long and short of Twitter double character

But just when Tweeple appeared attuned to the abridged articulation, the way the generation wont to penning flowery letters came to terms with snappy short text messaging, Twitter displays ‘double character’, upping its character limit from 140 to 280.

punjab Updated: Nov 12, 2017 12:26 IST
Twitter,280 characters,short text messaging
From Donald Trump Jr to Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Colbert to Shashi Tharoor, Twitter’s ‘character’ assassination saw a spate as if it were a newshour debate, about whether or not characters a la ‘Padmavati’ cross their limit.(AFP file/Representative image )

Thus far, tweeting spelt like a refresher course in précis writing, a long-forsaken lesson mastered ages ago at school. It’s been akin to authoring an awfully abridged version of voluminous literary masterpieces, a la ‘Julius Caesar’ or ‘Gone with the Wind.’ Or, cinematically speaking, it’s been an art as challenging as condensing the magnum opus ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ or ‘Mahabharata’ into a minuscule single episode.

But just when Tweeple appeared attuned to the abridged articulation, the way the generation wont to penning flowery letters came to terms with snappy short text messaging, Twitter displays ‘double character’, upping its character limit from 140 to 280.

It’s as if a populace that had gotten accustomed to squeezing itself into Maruti 800s, is now piling into good ol’ amply-proportioned Ambassadors, or graduating to Fords and Mercedes — more room and more leg space, ahoy!

This change of “character” is being perceived un-characteristic or character-less, depending on whether the fulminating Tweeple possess a proclivity for brevity or verbosity; and has propelled trolls into an overdrive, this time, to target Twitter itself.

From Donald Trump Jr to Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Colbert to Shashi Tharoor, to ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and Netflix, Twitter’s ‘character’ assassination saw a spate as if it were a newshour debate, about whether or not characters a la ‘Padmavati’ cross their limit.

While the US President spawned snark, “Donald Trump has #280characters, but he still doesn’t have 280 brain cells,” Donald Trump Jr did a slamming spark: “… 140 was an art form, 280 is everyone’s chance to write their Gettysburg Address that no one wants to actually read.”

Twitter’s 280 characters sparked snarks galore. Twitter’s ‘more’ is trolls’ new abhor, and netas ‘n’ newsmakers’ new outpour.

Trolls even rolled out Indian spin-offs, a la ‘Sagarcasm’: “Amitabh Then: T2559 …. Amitabh Now: Tweet two thousand five hundred fiftynine#280characters.” Chetan Bhagat trashed it thus: “Double the hate. Double the trolls …”, while Shashi Tharoor’s “felicitous” favouring spelt the new farrago for trolling.

Twitter’s upgradation, akin to transitioning from the trailer to a fully loaded Ashutosh Gowarikar, Sooraj Barjatya or David Dhawan multi-starrer, forsooth spells spin-offs.

First to be impacted by this could be the Facebookers. Thus far, a legion of Facebook fans condescendingly cold-shouldered Twitter for being relatively character “less”, the way MacBook or iPad aficionados perchance may frown upon the non-Apple pocket-sized gizmos or in the manner Shakespeare lovers may scoff at short story writers. Simply because tweeting meant cutting to size their penchant for prose verbose.

But with Twitter acquiring more “character,” Facebookers possessing propensities for prose could now tweets compose, graduating from their Facebook masterpieces to Twitter’s faster-pieces. This could make them the new migratory birds of cyberia, a la the migratory avians of Siberia.

It also translates into a boon for another tribe — those with a decided disposition for diatribe. For netas to abhinetas, newsmakers to movers ‘n’ shakers, Twitter’s ‘more’ spells the new outpour.

For Arnab and Co, who hitherto must have found it terribly trying to keep things short ‘n’ tweet, now the grilling gets doubly extort ‘n’ tweet. Voila! Arnab’s single tweet shall now fit in more characters than the number of interrogations ‘n’ interjections punctuating his pontification with the panellists.

For B-town biggies and beauties, it could translate into double narcissism, double ‘selfie-ism’ and double of double ‘speak-ism’.

The third tribe for whom this translates into a blessing are the trolls, who now have double the limit to cross all limits. A fallout pictured tartly a la ‘Trendulkar’: “Can’t wait to get abused in 280 characters.”

Twitter’s ‘more’ is the trolls’ new abhor. If Bollywood bigwigs deign to flaunt airs ‘n’ attitude, “Mere paas bangla hai, gaadi hai … tumhare paas kya hai?”; expletive-inclined trolls could spew a new taunt:

“Mere paas Maa-***** waali lambi gaali hai #280characters!”

First Published: Nov 12, 2017 11:03 IST