Twitter: the Content Analysis!

The good folks over at the Oxford University Press, after analyzing nearly 1.5 million updates to the Cascading Commentary on Contemporary Life known as Twitter, have come up with some interesting findings:

1. Verbs are much more common in their gerund form in Twitter than in general text. “Going”, “getting” and “watching” all appear in the top 100 words or so.

2. “Watching”, “trying”, “listening”, “reading” and “eating” are all in the top 100 first words, revealing just how often people use Twitter to report on whatever they are experiencing (or consuming) at the time.

3. Evidence of greater informality than general English: “ok” is much more common, and so is “f***”.

Next up, perhaps: a study that examines whether any of the OUP’s findings is correlated to the bizarre, gender-related results of the Harvard Business Review’s Twitter study.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.