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Well, I honestly tried to search for this but I drowned in twit* and tweet* results.

Should I write:

  • "my tweet" or "my twit"?
  • "I am tweetting" or "I am twitting" ("to twit" vs. "to tweet")?

Referring to messages on twitter.com, what are the differences in their usage and meaning?

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4 Answers 4

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To tweet a tweet

Twitter.com prefers the noun Tweet to be capitalised but dictionaries have it without the capital T

  • Please tweet this to your followers
  • I was tweeting about Twitter yesterday

Oxford dictionaries:

tweet:

A posting made on the social media website Twitter: he started posting tweets via his mobile phone to let his parents know he was safe Oxford Dictionaries.com

Twit:

A silly or foolish person. Oxford Dictionaries.com

Mostly used in British English

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  • I don't get the part about “Twit is similar to idiot in British English”, could you explain what you mean by that?
    – F'x
    Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 16:42
  • 1
    @FX_: The meaning of twit is similar to idiot. wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=twit Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 16:46
  • @FX_ Google translator: twit - A silly or foolish person
    – rem
    Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 16:48
  • Yes, that's exactly why I asked. There are tricky differences and not very pleasant ones to ignore them. And I twitted me all the time before! Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 16:55
  • And why is "a Tweet" capitalized and "to tweet" not? Can I write "a tweet" and what is the difference with "a twit"? Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 17:02
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Twitter is a brand and, as such, you should follow the usage established by the brand itself. Looking at http://blog.twitter.com/, I see they describe the messages as Tweets (singular: a Tweet), with a capital T, and the action of sending them as tweeting (verb: to tweet), no capitalization.

That rule should be followed until established usage starts to differ from what the brand proposes, either because people think it's silly (like writing Yahoo! with its exclamation mark all the time) or because they think it's ugly (I would personally not use a capital T for tweets, as it disrupts the standard rules of capitalization).

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  • 1
    +1 Why they did not call it tweetter.com? I miss something. Was it intentional to make joke of others? The "tweetter" and twitting are with double "t" while the "tweeting" with one, is it correct? Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 17:17
  • @vgv8: Probably because the brand/word "Twitter" is more likely a corruption of "atwitter": nervously concerned : excited <gossips atwitter with speculation — Time>. "To tweet", pre-Twitter, would have meant "to make a bird-like sound", roughly.
    – JasonTrue
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 7:32
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It also depends on the level of formality of your writing. In the summer of 2010, the standards editor for the New York Times declared the policy for the NYT:

Except for special effect, we try to avoid colloquialisms, neologisms and jargon. And "tweet" – as a noun or a verb, referring to messages on Twitter – is all three. Yet it has appeared 18 times in articles in the past month, in a range of sections.

...

"Tweet" may be acceptable occasionally for special effect. But let's look for deft, English alternatives: use Twitter, post to or on Twitter, write on Twitter, a Twitter message, a Twitter update. Or, once you've established that Twitter is the medium, simply use "say" or "write."

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-1

Tweet is a noun so "my tweet" is correct. "I am twittering" is the correct verb. Note the word twit used on twitter has no relations to the British use of the word twit used for an idiot. The co-founder for Twitter explains twit or twittering is the sound a bird makes. http://www.bitrebels.com/social/is-it-twittering-or-tweeting/

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  • The word twit is by no means limited to the Isle of Britain.
    – tchrist
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 14:37

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