Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I need more than 140 characters to tell you that 'F*Upd' is f*cked up

My relationship with Twitter went from general disdain before I really tried it to eventually finding some merit in it; if you follow the right people (those with clever or amusing or interesting albeit pithy thoughts) it can be better than Facebook in certain regards. (Well, these days saying something's better than Facebook isn't necessary giving it much of a compliment, but with any luck one gets the idea.) Ultimately, like anything else on the internet, some of it is good and a lot of it is crap, but one is under no obligation to trek through any more of the drek than one chooses.

I don't tweet very often (so it's not difficult to understand my low number of followers) but occasionally I am inspired to throw 140-characters (or less) worth of a thought out into the Twittersphere, with the general expectation no one will really see it, or at least that no one will reply. (Which is pretty much the same attitude I have about blahg posts; the difference is I spend far less time on the tweets, so those really are a more logical outlet for my online sharing. But I digress.)

And then there are moments where the void is preferable to getting some acknowledgement of someone else seeing a tweet. But in this case that wasn't quite for the obvious reason.


A few weeks ago I tweeted a quip regarding the traffic snarls in Los Angeles caused by the president's visit, suggesting if a 2016 candidate for the G.O.P. promised never to come here I might vote Republican.

Within minutes a… okay, the kneejerk descriptor would be "right-wing nutjob" but as will be seen that's not quite appropriate nor is it fair for me to cast such aspersions recklessly, so let's just go with… conservatively-minded individual replied positing an alternative theory: that I might vote thusly because "Obama F*Upd pretty much EVERYTHING he touches".

Good to see Twitter is still encouraging clever (albeit succinct) discourse, eh?

What I found most interesting about his tweet was not the partisan rhetoric blithely ignoring the clearly ironic tone of mine—that was entirely predictable—but his choices in his tweet. He did offer the qualifier that it was only "pretty much" everything the president had touched that had been bespoiled but still put "EVERYTHING" in all caps for presumable emphasis; he really wanted to make it clear he meant that equivocation.

More than that, however, was how he abbreviated "F*Upd". I concede he may have wished to avoid explicit profanity (although conceivably there are adequate expressions not implicitly cursing that could capture the sentiment if one wants to steer clear, but presumably that was the extent to which he wished to go); he wasn't hitting the 140-character limit (he had plenty of room for "pretty much," of course). He could have put three more asterisks there to substitute for the letters he was leaving out of "fuck"—unless he actually meant a two-letter vulgarity with which I'm unfamiliar—and included a space between the asterisks and the U for better clarity.

But even with the implicit profanity choice as is, it seemed pretty clear he was employing the expression incorrectly. The past tense of "to fuck up" is "fuck uped"; it's clearly "fucked up." So although I know the futility of engaging in any offer of genuinely attempting to improve his usage, part of me wants to alert him that he probably meant "F*ed Up" (going with his single asterisk method). (Yes, I'm not dwelling on how in his original conjugation he had put only a "d" rather than "ed" despite having the aforementioned sufficient remaining characters.) People will judge him for his stance of the current administration, certainly, but with modest effort he could at least eschew being judged for his misused expressions.

Anyway, I will say one thing about the 2016 election: I can say without any doubt I will not be voting for Barack Obama again.

1 comment:

  1. OK, I'll try posting this with my home computer instead of my stupid tablet at a wi fi spot. Sorry if this comment shows up more than once.

    * * *

    You could use this for a Twitter reply:


    It's under 14 characters!


So, what do you think?