You all remember the NYT's June 9 "ban" on the use of the word "tweet" in the paper, right?
That's when NYT standards editor Philip Corbett issued a now-notorious memo strongly discouraging reporters from the use of the word "tweet" in news stories. "Outside of ornithological contexts," the NYT's reigning style functionary harrumphed, “'tweet' has not yet achieved the status of standard English."
Corbett denounced the word's use as a noun or verb, and offered various awkward and arcane alternatives:
“Tweet” may be acceptable occasionally for special effect. But let’s look for deft, English alternatives: use Twitter, post to or on Twitter, write on Twitter, a Twitter message, a Twitter update. Or, once you’ve established that Twitter is the medium, simply use “say” or “write.”
But wait, Corbett didn't say anything about "twitter" itself as a verb!
Seizing this sliver of an opportunity, op-ed columnist Gail Collins has boldly inserted the verb into her column this morning, seemingly daring some more douchebaggery (sorry, Phil!) from the man who also, last week, took the "shit" out of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's "shit sandwich."
Here's the not-the-slightest-bit-offending passage from Collins:
While the startled Chu started to talk about shifting tectonic plates, Barton beamed smugly. “I seem to have baffled the Energy Sec with basic question: where does oil come from?” he twittered.
This is fun. We'd love to see more tenured NYT reporters and columnists engage in this modest form of civil disobedience, by finding new ways to skirt the absurdly antiquated rules that still govern the NYT in the 21st century.
You go, Gail!