Twitter Tips & Vernacular for Us Fortysomethings


hashtag2For those of us fortysomethings out there, we may just really be starting to leverage Twitter and one of the things that I know I have struggled with is the proper use of some of the abbreviations and Twitter slang. In order to provide myself with a quick reminder and to hopefully help others out, I prepared a quick list. If you know of anything that I missed that could help more people (including me), please add them via the comment section below.

Important Twitter slang/vernacular:

@reply (it’s like hitting an email reply button) – Here you substitute the reply with another username on twitter so @KenneyMyers for example if you wanted to reply to me. This is a simple way of responding to another twitter user in a way that will get back to them almost as if you are having a regular conversation.

ab/abt (about) – This is shorthand for about. Given we have only 140 characters to get our point across it can be really handy to use common abbreviations. There will be several throughout this twitter vocabulary list.

b/c (because) – I think some of the twitter abbreviations have been around forever. I remember using b/c for because a long, long time ago and it means the same when used in a tweet.

b4 (before) – Sometimes letter an number combinations are used to abbreviate like this one which means before (b4).

BFN (bye for now) – This is a way of ending a twitter conversation or just letting people know you have other things to do. It literally mean bye for now.

BR (best regards) – This is just a way to send someone your best regards. You might for instance tweet @KenneyMyers BR & good luck with your speaking gig in Dallas.

chk (check) – This is another abbreviation that has been around for a long time and literally means check.

clk (click) – If you want the other twitter user to click on a link you might use this abbreviation.

direct message (DM) – This is a direct message in twitter that is sent privately to the person you direct the message to. Use this feature if you want only one other twitter user to see a tweet.

EM/eml/EMA (email) – There are a lot of abbreviations for email including my favorite (because it is the shortest) EM.

F2F (face to face) – If you want to meet someone in person you would use F2F or if you are just describing a meeting that you already had in a tweet.

fab (fabulous) – This is a great way to say you really like something while just using 3 letters.

FAV (favorite) – This is referring to the fav action in twitter where you want people to fav your tweet and/or to let them know you did for them or someone else.

follower – This describes the people that are following your tweets on the network (they are your followers).

FF (follow friday or #followfriday) – FF is used when you want others to follow or favorite something else in your tweet.

Hash Tag (hashtag – #) – This almost deserves an entirely separate article but it in essence makes something more searchable and draws attention to that word (see more on hashtags below). So if you preface any word with a hashtag (#) it draws attention to it in the world of twitter.

IC (I see) – This is just letting someone know that you understand what thye are tweeting about.

IDK (I don’t know) – If you don’t know this abbreviation, you might want to give up now!

kk (kewl kewl – cool cool) – It’s just telling someone that you get what they are saying and/or you like it.  BTW, I’ve dropped this a couple of times when talking/chatting with my teen kids and they are quick to tell me that nobody does that.  Really?  I beg to differ! kk?

MRT (modified retweet) – This is literally a modified retweet identifier.

NTS (note to self) – This is used when you are just wanting to use twitter to remind yourself of something on your home page (where you see your own tweets).

OH (overheard) – This is an efficient way to say that you overheard something (usually juicy).

PRT (please retweet) – Use this when you would like your followers to retweet this one.

RT (retweet) – This is when you retweet someone’s message. The functionality is built into the twitter client or you can just type RT @KenneyMyers cool post!

selfie (taking a picture of yourself) – Thanks to the iPhone’s ability to have a forward facing camera it is easier than ever to take a picture of yourself (a selfie).

TFTF (thanks for the follow) – This is just a quick way to thank another twitter user for following you.

TMB (tweet me back) – If you want another user to message you back through twitter then you can just tell them to TMB.

Tweet (a message on twitter) – This is literally a message on twitter and how people let their followers know something (they tweet it out).

twis (dis) – This is the way of saying you got dissed or dissing someone else on Twitter.

U (you) – This is just a quicker way of referring to someone else on Twitter.

wtv (whatever) – This means whatever in one context or another and allows for a much more efficient message.

yoyo (you are on your own) – Use this when you want to tell someone you disagree and/or that they are on their own for any reason.

Important Inforamation on Hashtags:

So I have seen these abused so many times it is crazy. I think one good source of hashtags is hashtags.org, that site will help you understand a bunch about the do’s and dont’s of using hashtags on Twitter. Basically, a hashtag in front of any word makes that word searchable inside of Twitter. Because people sometimes abuse hashtags to associate a tweet with a trending topic (even though it is really unrelated), Twitter came up with the following rules:

Here’s Twitter‘s official statement on hashtag abuse.

“The following behaviors and others like them could cause your account to be filtered from search, or even suspended:

  1. Adding one or more topic/hashtag to an unrelated tweet in an attempt to gain attention in search.
  2. Repeatedly tweeting the same topic/hashtag without adding value to the conversation in an attempt to get the topic trending/trending higher.
  3. Tweeting about each trending topic in turn in order to drive traffic to your profile, especially when mixed with advertising.
  4. Listing the trending topics in combination with a request to be followed.
  5. Tweeting about a trending topic and posting a misleading link to something unrelated.”

In other words, don’t just put a hashtag in front of any word because you think it makes you kk (kewl kewl). It doesn’t work that way. If you use hashtags improperly you could find yourself suspended from Twitter in a heartbeat.

So hopefully you have learned one or two things from this article about how to properly use Twitter.  If not, I can at least confirm that it has been helpful for this fortysomething to simply research these and refresh my diminishing memory.  Happy twittering (okay, that’s not one of our vocabulary words, but that’s okay)!

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