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Friday, 15 March 2019

"No, that’s not correct": A Twitter language survey

This short survey chronicles the quality of language used on Twitter. It started on the morning of 10 March, at about 11.15am, so any earlier time stamps are retweets. It continued for a period of about three hours and 45 minutes but I did also take a nap during this period as I had the flu. As in the cases of other surveys of this type I have done, the examples included here are from the #auspol hashtag. Nothing of this nature can be exhaustive but what this shows is that the basic skillsets that people bring to social media vary widely.

I categorised the entries (spelling, punctuation, capitalisation, grammar) to make them easier to consume, but you will see if you pay attention that some posts contain multiple problems. If a tweet has more than one problem it will still only be included in one category of tweets, that being the most obvious category for the tweet in question.

It was surprising to find that people might have no idea about where to put spaces other than between words. In the punctuation category I could have made a separate subcategory for tweets that used the ellipsis or the n-dash in place of more conventional forms of punctuation, such as commas or full-stops. A prominent form of grammatical error I found was a lack of agreement of number (where a plural noun results in the use of the singular form of the verb). Some problematic tweets I found did not make it into the survey, often for the simple reason that there were already sufficient examples of a certain type of problem to give an accurate idea of what was happening.

From time to time a completely error-free tweet appeared to break up the routine, but I didn’t include any of these, although they usually left me feeling as though I should at least give a cheer.

Spelling
  • 10 March 2019, 11.17am: Who is Michael McCormack? Encourage the Nationals to replace him with Barnaby.  It will be a complete electoral route for them.They are stupid enough to do it.
  • 10 March 2019, 12.02pm: NSW  Premier coming across as being under pressure.  Maybe she is not used of going so far out as Penrith. No smile evidient.
  • 10 March 2019, 1.48pm: It's funny, you never hear a peep from Rowan every tines there's a heat wave, or the BOM release the fact we just had our 3rd hottest year on record. Climate change deniers always rally against records until they want then to work in their favour. Rowan is a conman
  • 10 March 2019, 2.13pm: Yes. And his calling out of the political press gallery "reporters" as LNP stenographers feels good. We've known it for ages but first time AFAIK it's been acknowledged be someone still within the profession
  • 10 March 2019, 2.15pm: Scraping the bottom of the barrel? Go back a few more years, godness knows what you find.
  • 10 March 2019, 2.56pm: Gladis. you love building hospital's but what about giving them money for beds, nurses and other health professionals.@smh @GuardianAus release your figures in how many Full time staff there are in each hsoptial compared to population!
Punctuation
  • 10 March 2019, 8.11am: I would be extremely disappointed in Labor if they left Brandis there. And ....former senator David Bushby, who was appointed consul-general to Chicago just one hour after his resignation from Parliament in January......this guy should go too, seeing that Abbott removed Bracks.
  • 10 March 2019, 11.41am: Sanctions on two of the countries you have shown crippling these countries ...Cuba despite sanctions still has better medical than America ...imagine if America and corporations were fair and no bullies these places would be great !!
  • 10 March 2019, 11.53am: Paul Kelly- One certain consequence of Bill shortens Wages referendum will be, Job creation will dry up and unemployment will go up.
  • 10 March 2019, 12.07pm: Accepting the blame-shifting narrative of #auspol staffers- gone-rogue just perpetuates the status quo of Australian politics - also speaks to the character of (would-be) politicians
  • 10 March 2019, 1.17pm: So @Dymocksbooks are to be applauded for their actions to ensure every child in Aust has a book - but this raises the question - in an affluent democracy - why is the private sector relied on to address this clear failure of governance?
  • 10 March 2019, 1.45pm: There's a women's only gym down the road. Should  go down there and demand entry? No, because I'm perfectly fine with women's only gyms. Let the market do what it wants. This is much ado about nothing.
  • 10 March 2019, 2.52pm: Everything they sacked Malcolm Turnbull for...they're implementing... Dutton just wanted to be PM.  All it was about.
  • 10 March 2019, 3.04pm: Idiot ppl have no jobs to go to and are shit scared of losing what they have with 13% under and unemployed its little wonder
Capitalisation
  • 10 March 2019, 11.52am: Vital Signs: Australia’s sudden ultra-low economic growth ought not to have come as surprise because it is deliberate @LiberalAus Policy , Low Wages , Wage Stagnation , Wages Not Keeping It With Cost Of Living
  • 10 March 2019, 12.18pm: An additional 20,000 people each year for 10 years will inevitably cost Australian Tax Payers much more than $6,200,000,000, as it equates to only $31000 each year for  20,000 people over Ten Years & that's bugger all for what Government/Centrelink would need to hand out!
  • 10 March 2019, 12.19pm: Warringah voters know, that I'm not wishy washy on all policies. I stand for more Dunnys for Manly to accommodate the visiting Knights and Dames, and I'll Shirtfront Putin to get them if I have too!
  • 10 march 2019, 3.12pm: NEW SOUTH WALES LABOR CAMPAIGN  LAUNCH. BILL SHORTEN MP.
Grammar
  • 10 March 2019, 7.24am: Is been nearly a month since the medical bill has passed but no sick men from Manus or Nauru has been medivac to Australia. The govt is trying to delay the removal of sick refugees from the islands till the federal election, Ppl with critical conditions can’t wait another 9months.
  • 10 March 2019, 1.43pm: Isn't it a bit too late when in the past few years @GladysB and the @LiberalAus had done nothing but serving the oligarchy of powerful men in the business world and the society? Ordinary citizen and culture didn't count for them as those proved to be empty pledges
  • 10 March 2019, 1.56pm: @VictorDominello you're a scumbag. The actions by your supporters carrying corflutes with your name and party assaulting a woman and young child is disgusting. You don't deserve to be in parliament.
  • 10 March 2019, 2.35pm: Why are the Adelaide Crows Womens side playing at Unley oval??? You wouldn't have the nerve to make Crows or Ports men's teams play a league game there!!!!

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