Twitter Grammar: Do You Tweet Out, Tweet In, or Just Plain Tweet?

tweet_or_tweet_out?A recent online post about tweeting caught my attention:

“I understand that tweet already means to send a message, but I am hearing tweet out more frequently. Isn’t tweet out a redundancy in the category of revert back, continue onrise up and drop down?”

As a ruthless editor sensitive to redundancies, I’ve had this question, too.

We see plenty of tweet out in politics and sports:

Trump Tweets Out New Policy Toward Cuba

Detroit Tigers Tweet Out Opening Day Hype Video

Are there twitter grammar guidelines?

Such phrasing prompts the question:

Should we use tweet out so no one will assume we mean tweet in? And what would tweet in mean, anyway?

Or is adding out to tweet simply a redundancy; is out just clutter that adds no meaning?

Twitter History

Twitter was tested in March 2006 for use as an interoffice communication tool in a California company called Odeo.

It emerged as a corporate entity in its own right that July. Based in San Francisco, Twitter Inc. now has more then 25 offices around the world.

It is described as a social networking and microblogging online service that allows users to send and receive text-based messages or posts of up to 140 characters. The messages are called tweets.

We all recognize the original tweet as both a noun and a verb.

  • tweet: (noun) the chirping sound produced by a bird
  • tweet: (verb) to make a chirping should

However, the establishment of Twitter as a company has added meaning to tweet:

  • tweet: (noun) a post made on the social media application Twitter
  • tweet: (verb) to create a post on the social media application Twitter

 

The act of tweeting has given rise to other tweet-related words:

tweet-a-holic: a person addicted to the Twitter website

tweetable: short enough to be posted on Twitter

tweetcation: a short break from posting on Twitter

tweetcited: excited about the Twitter website and tweeting

tweetheart: a sweetheart on Twitter

tweet tooth: a person who has a strong craving to post a tweet

tweetup: a meeting at which people who communicate with each other via Twitter meet face to face

tweet you later: goodbye, see you later

retweet: a tweet shared publicly with followers that signals a person’s commonality with another’s presented comment or statement

A tweeter now can mean a person who posts on the social media application Twitter. However, a tweeter also is a small, high-fidelity speaker designed to reproduce high-frequency sounds.

 

Back to tweeting out

We’ve all heard the expression, “Here’s a shout-out to …”

According the British collinsdictionary.com (the source of most of the terms listed above), tweet-out is both a noun and a verb:

  • tweet-out: (noun) a greeting to one’s friends on the Twitter website; a shout-out
  • tweet out: (verb) to post a greeting on the Twitter website

Urbandictionary.com defines tweet out as promoting on Twitter a product or URL you like. Instead of a shout-out, it’s a tweet-out:

I asked my friend to give my new website at tweet-out so I could take advantage of his Twitter followers.

Twitter use is worldwide, a universal means of communication. In another year, we might have new twitter-related words to add to our list.

Meanwhile, watch your tweeting grammar. Think before you use tweet out instead of simply tweet as a verb. You might get a tweet-out by the Ruthless Editor!

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Kathy Watson

Kathy Watson has a love/hate relationship with grammar; she loves words and the punctuation that helps them make sense, yet she hates those pesky rules. A self-proclaimed ruthless editor, she prefers standard usage guidelines of The Associated Press Stylebook. Her easy-to-use Grammar for People Who Hate Rules helps people write and speak with authority and confidence. She encourages and welcomes questions and comments. (Email)