3/3/14

Puns 'n' tweets


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When I opened my Twitter account, honestly, I really didn't understand how this new social media could be interesting for me. I simply followed a trend: everybody, or so it seemed, was tweeting; thus, I had to be a Tweetee, too. True enough, more often than not, people were either tweeting about the pizza they were currently eating in Cincinatti or they were puffing their wares.

Moreover, I found that the 140 signs you were allowed to use restricted my expression quite severly. How could I possibly trigger off interesting debates in 140 signs? I found it hard to be creative with only so few signs.

But lately, I realized that there's one field where this limitation can be rather fun without restricting my creativity. I'm talking about Twitter games, or rather: wordplays. If you want to be good at that sport, you have to be concise, because in this area, less is more.

It's my online friend, the fabulous writer and musician Jessica Bell (@MsBessieBell), who first started the really funny hashtag #Jessicasdictionary. I often read her inputs and soon decided to join in. In a short time, she has managed to compile a heap of existing words that, in a postmodern approach I found at the same time intellectually stimulating and hilarious, she deconstructed and reconstructed in order to give them a new meaning. One of my favourites is for example: "ANTIFUNGAL: Girls just don’t wanna have fun". Got it? In the meantime, she has moved the whole game from a hashtag to a full-blown website with its own Twitter profile (@DegDic) and Facebook-account. On the website, you can check out how the game works; there's also her "partner in crime", Adam Byatt, who talks about it on his blog.

So, I've decided to start my own Twitter game. Rather than to follow the same reasoning I saw behind Jessica's approach, I wanted my game to give even more freedom to its players. I thought, hey, let's start to invent new words! Isn't that somehow what creativity is all about? Of course, by playing that game, we won't use proper words but rather create new ones, "improper" ones. That's why the hashtag I created is called #dietersimproperwords.

And here is how I imagined this game to work. It's very simple:
  1. Take an existing word. My very first tweet, for instance, was using the word "handkerchief". Another one was using "woodpecker". A third one was using "fishmonger".
  2. Change and twist that basic word. Take out a letter, change a letter, add a syllable. Thus, "handkerchief" became "wankerchief". "Woodpecker" became "Hollywoodpecker". "Fishmonger", "wishmonger".
  3. Create a definition for that new word, dictionary-style. E.g. "wankerchief: small square of soft absorbent material you use when you jerk of". Or "Hollywoodpecker: a male actor's weenie". Or "wishmonger: a retailer of hopes".
  4. Tweet it under the hashtag #dietersimproperwords and, if you want me to have a laugh, too (I'd be more than pleased!), add me (@dietermoitzi).
I hope that my own offerings, which already include the utopian student carreer that starts with whyschool and leads to lolege or loonyversity, will make you laugh, too.

This is an open game, everybody can participate. All I'd like to ask you is to refrain from being racist, violent, homophobic or sexist. But other than that: be creative, be funny, be poetic, be inventive, be dirty, be nasty, be cynical, be crazy, be new, be you!

I hope that you will join in that game and that we'll soon have a great, big dictionary of those fabulous new words our world definitely lacks sometimes!

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