September 22, 2012
A strange thing happened on Twitter the other day
I was exchanging tweets with Economist.com editor Tom Standage and, as it happened, one of his replies (above) dropped into my email inbox.
I read it and then read it again: "My wife liked (my italics) to conduct entire conversations using just emoji."
I figured he was no longer married to the woman he was referring to.
Then, a while later, I visited Twitter to see the exchange and happened on the tweet (below) about his wife and emoji.
Do you notice anything different about the tweet as it appeared on Twitter as opposed to my email inbox (top)?
In fact, one letter changed how I interpreted his tweet and understood his living arrangement.
How can the two versions be reconciled, and what does this mean in terms of using Twitter and the Internet as a whole as a reference of record?
I'd say it makes it as shaky as eyewitness testimony, once considered the gold standard in the courtroom until it was shown to be as provisional as every other form of evidence.
September 22, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink
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The original comment has four meanings that I can read.
My wife liked ... could imply a change in spousal disposition. Emoji could be fun in the short term but not that much fun in the long term, thus leading to a change in feeling towards the program.
My wife liked ... could mean that she is dead. She is not a subject of a present tense sentence anymore and she is not capable of liking things. People often use this form when talking of dead spouses.
My wife liked ... could mean that the speaker doesn't know the wife's current opinion. If the wife is alive this is the most literal interpretation.
My wife liked ... could mean that she is not a wife anymore but is not dead. This is an odd assumption for a sentence b/c the person has the option of saying: Susan likes, Susan liked (implying the speaker is no longer aware or Susan's options, etc. This interpretation requires the assumption that it is important that Susan is no longer the wife and the speaker made a revealing subconscious unthinking decision picking a noun.
The last interpretation seems to be the least likely, which is to say that I think you may be over thinking it.
Posted by: ag | Sep 22, 2012 1:05:58 PM
I guess there is a new addition to the old wise saying,
If you want to keep your friends never talk about religion, politics or Operating Systems.
Posted by: JoePeach | Sep 22, 2012 10:25:09 AM
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