Revisited: Twitter too much? Try “!”

Blogging has been around long enough now that it’s hardly even new media any more. It’s definitely become the long form of virtual publishing, and seems to be waning a bit as shorter messages are increasing in popularity. Facebook condensed the form drastically, providing mostly just the facts and some embarrassing, though fortunately poorly-framed, photographs.

Now we see the ascent of Twitter into a mainstream consciousness that rivals the Octomom, Rush Limbaugh and even trivial stuff like massive bank failure. Twitter’s limit of 140 characters forces even more concision on the part of the user, requiring one to get the point faster than ever. If we want to communicate with our fellow man via this method, we need to choose every letter and punctuation mark with the kind of care that used to be reserved for bathroom graffiti written with a fading Sharpie.

Oh yeah, and there’s still real-life verbal conversations with real-life people, but nobody does that any more.

Now we’ve arrived at a place where even Tweeting is taking too long. There was huge wave of negative publicity directed at members of Congress who spent more time thumb-wrestling their BlackBerrys than paying attention to the recent presidential address before a joint session of Congress.

So I’m proud to introduce the most concise digital messaging system yet available: a new service I call “!” (so far unpronounceable, though I have my marketing people working on that). “!”, as the name implies, allows users only a single character to describe what they’re doing, how they feel, what they like, or which ravine their car has plunged into.

Here are some of the more common messages being seen so far:

“A” – A greeting, usually elongated into something like “aaayy!”, like what Fonzi used to say.

“B” – A bid to practice existentialism; or, a panicked call for assistance about the bee on your forearm.

“C” – Look here.

“G” – Golly, gosh, jiminy and/or holy Moses.

 “I” – There’s something I need to say about me; or, there’s something I need to say about what’s in my eye.

 “J” – Only for use with friends who are named “Jay”.

 “K” – Alright already.

 “L” – Guess where I’m !-ing from – the elevated mass transit system of Chicago.

 “M” – How many points are there in an em-space?

“O” – I wish to express a strong emotional reaction such as surprise, shock, pain, or extreme pleasure.

“P” – Can you use your global positioning system to locate the nearest restroom for me, like, RIGHT AWAY!

“Q” – Take a prompt from me. You need to get in line to play pool.

“R” – Are you going to eat that?

“S” – You’re such an ass.

“T” – We should get together soon over a nice cup of tea.

“U” – You are the person I’m thinking about right now; or, I am a sheep.

“W” – I just saw former president Bush snacking off the samples tray at Costco.

“X” – Can you pick up some eggs on the way home from work?

“Y” – Why don’t you just bite me?

“Z” – This conversation is going nowhere; I seem to be drifting off …

You can also use non-letter characters, such as:

“,” – Help, I’m falling into a coma.

“:” – I seem to have been bitten by a venomous snake.

“_” – I really need to lie down for a while.

“{“ – I wish to become a portrait artist.

“~” – I’m having a great time at the beach, and I wish you had curly hair.

“#” – Want to play tic-tac-toe?

“%” – Can I have some of that?

“+” – I died on the cross for your sins; I hope you appreciate it.

“=” – I’m taking a shortcut home by walking on the train tracks, but I think I hear a thunderstorm com—“

“*” – I’ve discovered a new star in the heavens.

“^” – Look – up in the sky – it’s a bird, it’s a plane… no, it’s a huge burning asteroid and it’s heading right for us. Arrrhhh, we’re all going to die!

“!” – The coolest thing in instant communication for at least the next week.


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5 Responses to “Revisited: Twitter too much? Try “!””

  1. chrislipjournal Says:

    Any system of communication that references the Fonz and killer asteroids has GOT to be good. 🙂

    Rob Hanson at Chrislip Journal

  2. fakename2 Says:

    You know, the sad thing about a great system like this is that people will take it and begin to use it in ways you, the inventor, never intended. They will start stringing together more than one letter.such as “O” ‘U” (Would you look at that! Dang! I seem to have turned into a sheep!) “Y” “I” (Why don’t you just bite an egg?) Before long wordiness will be back in vogue and everything will be War and Peace all over again.

  3. fakename2 Says:

    Oh, that should have been “Y” “X”. I’ll never master this system.

  4. Ministry Fox Says:


  5. Ministry Fox Says:

    Actually, I have a colleague who cannot seem to write a single email without an exclamation mark. As if this wasn’t annoying enough in itself, now I will to contend with the knowledge that she is stealing your new communication system.

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