Utilising your 140 character limit on twitter

Twitter is well known by now for the brevity of the tweets. Gone are the days of writing a Shakespearean length soliloquy when all you really want to say is that your day consisted of buying bread and milk and you also watched a football match. Anyone who is familiar with text messages and sends those regularly should really have no problem with the 140 character limit but it can still be difficult for someone used to writing half a page about anything and everything to condense this into one or two sentences without losing the meaning of the message.


The aforementioned text messaging has brought about a monster that threatens to render proper English obsolete: the abbreviation. All over the world people text ‘lol’ instead of ‘laugh out loud’ or ‘brb’ instead of ‘be right back’. Yet this is one great way to minimise the amount of characters you use in a Twitter message. So rather than being snooty, you should really learn how to use these acronyms in order to avoid having to send three tweets to say one thing.


If nothing else, this 140 character limit may teach you how to convey your messages in a concise manner. Rather than tell your friend in 800 words that the football match you watched wasn’t much of a spectacle whilst explaining in great detail the errors made by the referee/goalkeeper/commentator, you could just say ‘match rubbish, lost 3-0, ref a disgrace, keeper a disaster’. This uses up much less than your allowance, explains your current disgust and allows you to express said anger more articulately later on.


Not only should you use shortened versions of words, you should also take advantage of the fact that Twitter accepts special symbols like stars and hearts amongst other things. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words so in this instance it’s worth 140 characters. Search for ‘TwitterKeys’ on the web as this shows you how to utilize all the special characters allowed on tweets.


Putting a label at the start of your tweet is an excellent idea. This allows your followers to see what it is you’re sharing immediately and it could improve your chances of being re-tweeted, the goal of all those on Twitter.


Finally, remember that Twitter is not the place to be showing off how erudite you are. Save that for poetry slams and other literary events. Short, simple sentences are sufficient when tweeting. ‘Meet you at the pub’ is much better than saying ‘we shall rendezvous at the watering hole’ and yes, there are people who talk like that. Although the likes of James Joyce would not approve of Twitter character limit, he is not around anymore whereas you are, so learn how to effectively send messages in 140 characters in order to make the most of your tweets.

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