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October 23, 2009 12:39 PM   Subscribe

Fake AP Stylebook is making Twitter worthwhile. (Single-link Twitter post. But damn, really; it's funny).
posted by emjaybee (66 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just saw this one today: "While it's tempting to call them "baristi," because of the Italian roots, plural of "barista" is "journalism majors."
posted by deadmessenger at 12:42 PM on October 23, 2009 [14 favorites]


Nice!
posted by brundlefly at 12:43 PM on October 23, 2009


That's hilarious!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:43 PM on October 23, 2009


Avoid using the colloquialism "gonna." EXCEPTION: "You gonna eat the rest of that sandwich?"

I heard a reporter / announcer on the beeb say "gonna" the other day. I almost passed-out.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:44 PM on October 23, 2009


"Arglebargle" should only be used in the non-hyphenated form. "Argle-Bargle," of course, refers to the infamous imperialist bloodline.

I did, in fact, just spit tea all over my monitor.
posted by scody at 12:44 PM on October 23, 2009


Came across this yesterday and have been laughing my ass off ever since.

Best one so far:

@FakeAPStylebook is it preferable to refer to the country as "Burma" or as "Myanmar"?

.@kpich If accuracy / Is what you crave / Then you should call it / Myanmar Shave

posted by phatkitten at 12:45 PM on October 23, 2009 [44 favorites]


Boring literary works can be improved by adding -izzle to their titles: Ulyssizzle, Moby Dizzle, Hizzle of Darknizzle.

And again!
posted by scody at 12:45 PM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you spell it "Hallowe'en," you should take a few days off to rethink your priorities.

'Struth.
posted by Iridic at 12:48 PM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I've said it before, but HalfPintIngalls continues to amuse me. It's witty stuff (assuming you've read any of those Little House on the Prarie books, in which Pa refers to Laura as his "little half-pint of sweet cider half drunk up").
posted by filthy light thief at 12:51 PM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


When referring to TV shows like CSI and NCIS, write names as acronyms without periods. L.O.S.T. is the notable exception.

Awesome. Thanks for this.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:52 PM on October 23, 2009


I hate the .@replys. Other than that, this is pretty well done. I just wish I could easily see the original they were referencing.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:55 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


-laughs- Oh, I needed that. I've been fighting to learn Chicago of late... WHY do none of these formats make any internal coherent sense!
posted by strixus at 12:56 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is great.
posted by WPW at 12:56 PM on October 23, 2009


After watching Jay Leno's monologue last night because I fell asleep during 30 Rock, I thought comedy had died. I'm happy to discover it has not.
posted by incessant at 12:57 PM on October 23, 2009


HEY THAT'S HOW HALLOWE'EN IS SPELLED


jerky pants
posted by grubi at 12:58 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


If she was still updating the blog @hotamishchick would be my favorite daily stop.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:58 PM on October 23, 2009


For those wondering, Jay went 0 for 29 last night. I counted because four jokes in, I was shocked at just how bad they were and wondered how long it'd be before he made a decent joke.

I'm thinking April.
posted by incessant at 12:58 PM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I also like Shit My Dad Says.
posted by exogenous at 1:01 PM on October 23, 2009 [13 favorites]


Ha ha! They weigh in on the "surreal comma."
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:02 PM on October 23, 2009


This is really, just positively awesome. Thanks.
posted by cowbellemoo at 1:07 PM on October 23, 2009


Is there some way to read this that lets you see the questions they are responding to?
posted by smackfu at 1:10 PM on October 23, 2009


The title of the post is the tweet that made me cry and send this link to everyone I know.

Second runner-up:
Use emoticons to let readers know exactly the type of person they are dealing with. \m/ O_O \m/
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:20 PM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is there some way to read this that lets you see the questions they are responding to?

Click on the timestamp under the response.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:22 PM on October 23, 2009


Tangent: Roger Ebert got a Twitter.
posted by kmz at 1:25 PM on October 23, 2009


Thanks, EvaD. That made "nerdhouse" much more amusing.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:25 PM on October 23, 2009


Click on the timestamp under the response.

Actually, that wasn't quite right, sorry. Click "in reply to" where that's available. Where it's not, click the timestamp, then the username. The second method will require some hunting through the feed to find the question, unfortunately.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:27 PM on October 23, 2009


cjorgensen: "I hate the .@replys."

I've been seeing these more frequently. What's their deal?
posted by boo_radley at 1:28 PM on October 23, 2009


FelliniBlank, thanks for pointing that one out!
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:28 PM on October 23, 2009


Also, I need to know where Metafilter's own interrobang stands on this account.
posted by boo_radley at 1:29 PM on October 23, 2009


Where it's not, click the timestamp, then the username.

You can just click on the username directly to get to their Twitter page. The timestamp links are for if you want to link to individual tweets (of FakeAPStylebook) directly.
posted by kmz at 1:31 PM on October 23, 2009


The preferred term for Secret Santas is, "people who demonstrate their lack of familiarity through gift-giving."

This should be shared with every office party planner. It would spare a lot of pained awkwardness at this year's holiday gathering.
posted by shoesietart at 1:34 PM on October 23, 2009


@username is a function in Twitter. Leading a post with it directs it onto the named user's page. So Fake AP's response appears on the questioner's page as well as on their page (and on the questioner's cell phone, if they've got it set to receive messages from their Twitter feed). I don't enjoy that it's getting propagated elsewhere, but it does have a purpose within Twitter.

Okay, that's more than enough Twitter talk from me. Back to work now.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:42 PM on October 23, 2009


While it's tempting to call them "baristi" because of the Italian roots, the plural of "barista" is "journalism majors."
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:50 PM on October 23, 2009


EvaDestruction, if I'm understanding properly, the question is not what @username does, but what motivates people to use .@username instead, which suppresses the "in reply to" link that normally appears when one uses @username. Maybe this is something I would need a Twitter account to understand, but why would one want to do that?
posted by dorque at 1:51 PM on October 23, 2009


This is relevant to my interests.
posted by Caduceus at 1:54 PM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am teaching 3 sections of first-year composition this semester, so I find this hilarious. Maybe I will show it to my students to lighten the mood when I start my unit on MLA Style (always a bit of a slog).

Boring literary works can be improved by adding -izzle to their titles: Ulyssizzle, Moby Dizzle, Hizzle of Darknizzle.

In my intro to lit classes, we just finished reading "A Rose for Emizizzle."

(Actually, my students weren't bored by it at all. They quite liked it and were pleasantly shocked by the **SPOILER ALERT** necrophilia reveal at the end.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:56 PM on October 23, 2009


Say A says something to B. You're following B but not A. If B uses the regular reply function, you won't see the reply, because it's directed @A (this is if you're logged in and reading your own feed). But if they put the period in, it treats the post as a "regular" tweet and you'll see it on your feed.

And since most of the time you're following B (a funny or famous person) and not A (a person sending in questions), adding the period is useful.

Of course if you go directly to B's page, you see everything, even replies to people you're not following.
posted by marginaliana at 1:58 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also FakeAPStylebook is fucking hilarious.
posted by marginaliana at 1:59 PM on October 23, 2009


Leading a post with it directs it onto the named user's page. So Fake AP's response appears on the questioner's page as well as on their page

To expand on this, if a tweet begins with an @, Twitter treats it as a semi-private message to that user and followers of the person making the tweet don't see it* unless (a) they deliberately visit the sender's page or (b) are a follower of the recipient. The . is a way to disable this functionality, meaning everyone following FakeAPStyleGuide sees the replies.

(* there used to be an option to disable this, but Twitter removed it a couple of months ago)
posted by cillit bang at 2:00 PM on October 23, 2009


I just wish I could easily see the original they were referencing.

All you gotta do is plunk down $20 or so for your very own AP Stylebook!

But the feed doesn't make fun of the AP Stylebook as much as I was hoping it would. It seems to be more of a jumping-off point for the posts.
posted by ekroh at 2:02 PM on October 23, 2009


I am deeply skeptical of "funny" things, and yet this is, in fact, the funniest thing I've seen in a long, long time. Maybe my favorite:

You may not say "no one could have suspected..." until you have interviewed everyone on planet Earth.
posted by neroli at 2:04 PM on October 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is fantastic.
posted by painquale at 2:07 PM on October 23, 2009


cillit bang: "The . is a way to disable this functionality, meaning everyone following FakeAPStyleGuide sees the replies."

Ah, ok. That's a pretty goofy convention, but I guess that's twitter for you.
posted by boo_radley at 2:08 PM on October 23, 2009


I hate the .@replys.

They're awful. Sure, the replies to people I don't follow are funny, but this feed is fucking chatty and it's really noisy and drowning out other people I actually know.

Doing it once in a while for something important? Sure, I won't whine about that. Sadly, this isn't the case here. I'd love to follow this feed but the .@replies crap needs to go.
posted by Mikey-San at 2:11 PM on October 23, 2009


The best part of this is that it isn't as far from the *real* AP Stylebook as one might think.
posted by uptowngirl at 2:18 PM on October 23, 2009


boo_radley:

Ah, ok. That's a pretty goofy convention, but I guess that's twitter for you.

Twitter conventions tend to be emergent and pretty much have to be terse. I wasn't aware of this one before but it's a clever way around the switch to non-distributed @replies. I'd say it's appropriate for this account which puts some of its best content in replies.

That said ...

Mikey-San:

this feed is fucking chatty and it's really noisy and drowning out other people I actually know.

You're not kidding. I didn't look at the timestamps at first so I didn't notice how frequent the updates were. In general Twitter's new lists feature helps with this kind of issue; if you keep your primary contacts in a list you can use the list as a filter. But I put this particular account in my list of people I follow because they're funny, and it's overwhelming the list. But oh, it is funny.
posted by Songdog at 2:22 PM on October 23, 2009


I also like Shit My Dad Says.

"Just pay the parking ticket. Don't be so outraged. You're not a freedom fighter in the civil rights movement. You double parked."

Belly-laugh.
posted by philip-random at 2:23 PM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


If she was still updating the blog @hotamishchick would be my favorite daily stop
You know what else stays in Vegas? Sad people. :-(
Heh.
posted by dersins at 2:28 PM on October 23, 2009


"Always capitalize 'Bible.' You don't want to get letters from those people."

I love the @ reply.
posted by Science! at 2:28 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


-laughs- Oh, I needed that. I've been fighting to learn Chicago of late... WHY do none of these formats make any internal coherent sense!

Oh ho! You have yet to discover the mysterious and wonderous ways of The Bluebook.

Pie Liber Caeruleus Domine - Donna Eis Requiem
posted by jock@law at 2:36 PM on October 23, 2009


Hear, hear, Science!
posted by brundlefly at 2:42 PM on October 23, 2009


If using twitter is lazy then @replies are extra lazy. You don't even have to come up anything original, your content is just half of a conversation you're having.

If twitter showed the original message, it might be a little more interesting, but the halves of a bunch of conversation is pretty idiotic.
posted by delmoi at 3:19 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


The low levels of advice on when to drop the g in gerunds and add an apostrophe shows the inherent liberal bias of the AP. I'm sure Peggy Noonan would tell you about how many are needed to convey to the audience that you are partly a cowboy in spirit, but are still modern enough that you typed the article on a computer. After all, she worked for Reagan and witnessed the decline of modern language firsthand.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:31 PM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow. This is up there with @HenryPaulsen and @shitmydadsays . Twitter as an art form is actually possible.
posted by effugas at 3:49 PM on October 23, 2009


What they're goofing on, as if you didn't know...

Much less funny, natch.

e.g. "Female student is the preferred term, coed OK to describe a school. #APStyle"

zzzzzz.
posted by chavenet at 4:23 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


dersins: "If she was still updating the blog @hotamishchick would be my favorite daily stop"

"Never ask a pony a yes-or-no question. They always say "neigh". LOL. :-) No really, they don't know how to talk."
posted by boo_radley at 4:25 PM on October 23, 2009


The .@reply function is a new thing to Twitter because they changed how tweets appear. Lets say I'm friends with UserA but not UserB. If UserA @replies to UserB, I will not see it on my front page. By adding the period to @reply, they break Twitter's hiding of that on my page, so everyone can see it.
posted by msbutah at 5:47 PM on October 23, 2009


I haven't been actively using Twitter, but .@ seems wasteful with a 140 character limit. There are a ton characters to choose from, so why use two characters for one type of reply? Even if we constrain ourselves to the keyboard, there are plenty of good options.

My simple proposal for private replies: Preface it with an ampersand (ie: &JohnMcCain). It makes no sense to place an ampersand with no space. Also possible: Semicolon, carat, the pipe. I just think the ampersand looks the best.

That way, you don't have to break old habits.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:47 PM on October 23, 2009


oh heavens, does .@ use up 1.4% of my available twits?
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 7:26 PM on October 23, 2009


This is brilliant. Wonderful find, thanks.

Now I'm off to forward it to a bunch of journalists. :D
posted by zarq at 7:32 PM on October 23, 2009


Looks like everyone addressed the .@reply thing.

The reason they still want the @user is this makes it a link, where &JohnMcCain isn't. Also, it simplifies things to only have one special character. Replies aren't typically as long as the original.

The reason the .@ sucks is because it breaks the "in reply to" link.

Used to be you could choose to see the @replies to people you were following. It was one of the first major backlashes against twitter I saw. Something like 3% of the users used this, since it wasn't on by default, but they were some of the most vocal.

That was also the closest I've come to a flame out. They pulled the trigger on this on a Friday, and then went home for the weekend. They came back online to a crapstorm that made them change how the @reply works, but it's inconsistent, and not as good by a long shot.

I loved seeing the random things people had to say, then clicking the "in reply to" link to see what would illicit such a response.

delmoi , If using twitter is lazy then @replies are extra lazy. You don't even have to come up anything original, your content is just half of a conversation you're having.

I think you're firmly on record as not being a fan, so always wonder why you come into the threads discussing it. This aside, the @reply is how you engage with other people. You don't see them unless you are following both people talking, someone directs one to you, you make one, or you specifically. People who don't use them aren't going to get me to follow them, just as people who do nothing but or have a crapload of RTs (retweets).

The reason I hate that I can't see all the @replies directed toward the people I follow is it turned twittter more into a semi-private conversation, and less like hanging in a coffee shop and just talking to whoever is interesting you. They managed to take the social out of social media they have also recently limited the number of search results you can get on a user, and I can't access my first 6,000 updates, so them took the blogging out of micro-blogging. There's some things you can use to convince people they suck.

Now, back to the subject at hand. I have the same problem with this feed as I do with the How to Write Badly Well. I often don't get the jokes, or when I do I have to think it through and try to figure out why it's wrong.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:42 PM on October 23, 2009


They managed to take the social out of social media they have also recently limited the number of search results you can get on a user, and I can't access my first 6,000 updates, so them took the blogging out of micro-blogging.

AIUI the reason for both of these is they've turned their internal architecture into an instant messaging service (where each tweet is pushed into followers' inboxes) rather than a database (where the system would have to search everyone you're following's outboxes each time you refresh your home page).

Filtering the @ replies means the number of recipients for those tweets is radically reduced at source, and older tweets are inaccessible because they simply aren't keeping a large online archive.

(although one would hope they're being stored somewhere)
posted by cillit bang at 3:30 AM on October 24, 2009


I can understand not making the old stuff available in the feed, but it would be nice if you could [seamlessly] search the archive.
posted by Songdog at 4:56 AM on October 24, 2009


This thing is an outstanding exception to the rule. Typically Twitter reads like someone else's IRC log of a channel you've never been in, full of people you've never heard of making comments you can't read, with lots of missing lines.
posted by majick at 5:11 AM on October 24, 2009


Another brilliantly funny Twitter account is @DrSamuelJohnson, in which the great 18th century writer and lexicographer opines on the issues of the day. Might go on about a few too many obscure British cultural phenomena for non-Brit tastes, but hilarious if you get the references.
posted by flashboy at 6:44 AM on October 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Dr. Samuel Johnson outnoonaned Noonan. If this leads to an arms race: whoever wins, clarity and brevity loses.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:32 AM on October 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


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