By limiting messages to just a few dozen characters, Twitter is changing the way people write. Abbreviations are in, which is good news for American over British orthography. The problem with our friends across the pond is that they keep inserting unnecessary u’s in all the most unlikely places, just to add “colour” to their spelling. Sesquipedalian monstrosities are out—so don’t start tweeting about antidisestablishmentarianism.
But that’s not the only way that Twitter is changing the language. Reports are coming in that South Korean twitterers (twits is the abbreviated form) have actually invented a new word, Mubaraktic (could the British spelling be Mubarauktic?). While it has yet to enter the Webster’s dictionary, or even Wikipedia’s own Wiktionary, that may be only a temporary glitch.
So what does it mean? It is an adjective indicating someone who refuses to take a hint, as in, “The President of Egypt is rather Mubaraktic in response to the protestors’ demands,” or (more casually), “I kept telling him I was busy, but he was Mubaraktically challenged.”
And so, Silicon Valley takes the lead again, not only when it comes to high tech, but even when it comes to the English language. We have Twitter to thank for that.