Monday, February 6, 2017

The Literary World of Twitter

If you’re like me, you love social media. It’s a great way to keep up with friends, find out what your favorite celebrities are doing, and catch up on important news topics. Twitter especially can be a great resource for reading thousands of different perspectives on entertainment and even politics. It’s also great for following what’s happening in the literary world.

You can follow all your favorite authors, yes, but you can also follow all the big publishing companies, indie bookstores, and even the dictionary. Yep, you can even follow the Merriam-Webster dictionary itself (@MerriamWebster).

Okay, I can practically hear you asking, “Why on earth would I want to follow the dictionary?” The answer to this question is because their social media is incredibly relevant and interesting, and you learn a lot without even realizing it. The dictionary understands how social media can be useful in creating interest, particularly about words. The people behind Merriam-Webster’s Twitter know exactly how to participate in pop culture and, especially these days, politics.

Much of Merriam-Webster’s tweets these days talk about words and literacy that play important parts in today’s political sphere. They tackle ideas like “alternative facts” and the origins of the word “snowflake” as well as correcting misinformation about what words actually mean.

They also do a great deal of teaching the public what goes on behind the scenes of the dictionary world and how words get into the dictionary in the first place.

Merriam-Webster also Tweets about words of the day/week/month/year and how their usage may have changed over time. You may think that the dictionary would argue against the changing of word meaning, but they often show how words can have many different, often conflicting definitions, and they fully believe that word meanings can and should change over time.

Merriam-Webster, and many, if not all, other dictionaries, believe that the English language is not static, but rather fluid and constantly changing. They adapt their dictionaries and definitions constantly to reflect a dynamic language that changes as its users change.

These Twitters aim to show how words and how we use words can often have a lasting impact on how we as English users develop and communicate with each other, and they do it in ways that align with 21st century ideas, beliefs, and technology.

1 comment:

  1. Some other dictionary accounts to follow are the Oxford English Dictionary (@OED) and the American Heritage Dictionary (@ahdictionary). In terms of taking on new words and such, American Heritage is more conservative than Webster.