Twitter – What’s the fuss all about?

by Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, Copywriting Strategist – Frog Pond Publishing Article


This quote has been attributed to Hemingway, Cicero, Voltaire, Mark Twain, and Blaise Pascal. But whoever wrote, “If I more time, I’d have written you a shorter letter” understood it’s more challenging to write short copy than long copy.


This has never been more true than with the phenomenon of Twitter at


Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that works kind of like instant messaging. You choose who you Follow or allow in your inner circle. Others choose to Follow or Unfollow you based on whatever criteria they have.


Then you communicate via text messages of up to 140 characters long (including punctuation and names) called Tweets.  


Think of it as a giant cocktail party where you contribute to other conversations, share relevant information, and at times include mindless babble. As my good friend, Scott Stratten Tweets, “Take 5 mins to read other tweets and comment/reply/retweet. Nothing about you. Build, interact, give.”


Sometimes keeping your Tweets under the character limit can be tough, though. So I put together a list of some of the more shorthand so you can work in as many words as possible in your Tweets.


  • Instead of ‘you’ use ‘u’
  • Instead of ‘and’ use ‘&’
  • Instead of ‘your’ use ‘ur’
  • Instead of ‘for’ use ‘4’
  • Instead of ‘to’ or ‘too’ use ‘2’
  • Instead of ‘before’ use ‘b4’
  • Instead of ‘favorite’ use ‘fave’
  • Instead of ‘great’ use ‘gr8’
  • Instead of ‘later’ use ‘l8r’
  • Instead of ‘people’ use ‘peeps’ or ‘ppl’
  • Instead of ‘are’ use ‘r’
  • Instead of ‘please’ use ‘plz’
  • Instead of ‘thanks’ use ‘thx’
  • Instead of ‘with’ use ‘w’

Can it be a contraction? Instead of ‘I will do __’ use ‘I’ll do __’. Do you really need that pronoun? Instead of ‘I hope __’ use ‘Hope __’. Get rid of ‘that’ and ‘the’ whenever possible.

Of course what you choose to Tweet about is even more important than the length of your Tweet.

(Flickr photo/logo by szlea)

©2009, FrogPond. All rights reserved. FrogPond offers you More Royalty-Free Reprintable Articles at



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