Hot Tweet: Don't Use 'Tweet,' New York Times Editor Tells Staff


Although it's become common usage here amongst our staff at DailyFinance, and elsewhere in print -- including the New York Times -- to use the word "tweet" as both a noun ("a Twitter message") and a verb ("to send a Twitter message"), evidently, the standards editor at the nation's paper of record thinks otherwise. In a memo leaked to The Awl -- and confirmed as real by other Times staff, including writer Dave Itzkoff (who had, uh, tweeted to say the story was "not true") -- standards editor Phil Corbett advises not to use the word, writing "outside of ornithological contexts, "tweet" has not yet achieved the status of standard English. And standard English is what we should use in news articles."

He goes on to suggest "deft, English alternatives: use Twitter, post to or on Twitter, write on Twitter, a Twitter message, a Twitter update." According to Itzkoff, other writers replied to his memo defending the use of the word "tweet"; until the paper and its staff work this all out, it'll be retweeted all over.