“Standard English” can be too constraining for the best communication. In order for the language to grow new things have to be used—especially when they’re correct in their use. If everyone reading a word knows what it means then there’s nothing wrong with using it, assuming it’s used correctly grammatically.

As you’ve probably heard by now, The New York Times style guide editor, Phil Corbett, has banned the use of the word tweet.

The rationale:

Some social-media fans may disagree, but outside of ornithological contexts, “tweet” has not yet achieved the status of Standard English. And Standard English is what we should use in news articles.

He added that writers should prefer using established usage and ordinary words, instead of the most recent slang or catchphrases and that since not all people use the micro-blogging site, they may not be familiar with what a “tweet” refers to.

Ah. That’s the keyword: NYT readers not being familiar with established usage and Twitter. It was Craig Engler of the SyFy network that tweeted the following:

On Twitter the NY Times has about 2.5 million followers. According to Wikipedia, their daily print circulation is under 1 million. Hm…

Like I said at the top, if everyone who reads a word knows what it means then there’s nothing wrong with using it.

Let writers tweet!

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