OUP Dictionary Team Dissects Twitter

By Jason Boog Comment

27769265.JPGSince January 2009, the English language curators at Oxford University Press’ dictionary team have analyzed 1,496,981 randomly-selected tweets to measure Twitter’s impact on writing.

According to the study, the average tweet contains 14.98 words and the most popular word is “the.” In addition, gerunds are the most popular verb form among microbloggers with “going” “getting,” and “watching” ranked high on the most popular word list.

Here’s a sample from the research: “[T]he 500 words most frequently used words on Twitter are significantly different from the top 500 words in general English text. At the very top, there are many of the usual suspects: ‘the,’ ‘to,’ ‘as,’ ‘and,’ ‘in’ … though ‘I’ is right up at number 2, whereas for general text it is only at number 10. No doubt this reflects on the intrinsically solipsistic nature of Twitter.”