Twitter RT, OH, ETC – The Meaning of Twitter Slang
You know the one thing that sucks about Twitter? There’s no manual! It can feel a little overwhelming getting started – there seems to be so much jargon and slang – but it’s really not that bad at all.
- Twitter RT is ReTweet
- Twitter HT is Heard Through
- Twitter OH is OverHeard
- Twitter Replies Start with @
- Twitter Hash Tags
Twitter RT is ReTweet
If you hear something that you want to retweet, like breaking news or something funny, you can ReTweet it. It’s like repeating, only since we’re on Twitter, we’re being funny about it and calling it ReTweeting. Here’s an example:
@FBueller tweeted that there were Houston Police Department cops checking stickers. @Marc1919 (another Houston resident) saw that and retweeted it by adding “RT @FBueller:” at the front. That way, everyone knows who Marc heard it from – it’s like giving credit to FBueller.
This gets FBueller’s message heard by more people, because there’s probably people following Marc1919 who aren’t following FBueller.
If I wanted to retweet this, I would write a tweet that said:
RT @marc1919 @FBueller: FYI...2 HPD motorcycle cops are checking stickers at Durham and I-10.
That way I’m giving credit to people along the way. If you run out of room, just credit the original person (in this case, FBueller.)
If you don’t have too many followers, and you’re thinking about retweeting somebody famous like @SherriEShepherd who has kajillions of followers, you might wonder whether you should bother. After all, they already have a lot of followers, right? Well, if you find it that interesting, go ahead and retweet it anyway, because not everybody in your circle will be following the same people you follow.
Twitter HT is Heard Through
Twitter OH is OverHeard
When you’re hanging out with a bunch of friends in a bar or at a party, you’re bound to hear somebody say something funny – or stupid – or both. OH is slang for something you overheard. Here’s an example from @NMyra:
Twitter Replies Start with @
When you want to reply to someone, start your tweet with their name at the very beginning, like this:
@CorryJoe had sent a tweet with my name in it, so I replied back to her by starting with her name.
You don’t have to be following someone in order to reply to them. You can reply to anyone, anytime – even if they haven’t sent a message to you in the first place. However, if they’re not following YOU, then your message won’t show up on their home page on Twitter. Instead, it’ll show up on their replies tab (on my Twitter home page, it’s the tab that says @BrentO.) The only way to make it onto their home page is if they’re following you.
Replies in Twitter aren’t like replies in email: you can’t easily see the threads. You can’t go back to see what message someone was replying to. This makes things confusing when you’re following hundreds of people and sending lots of tweets, because you’re not quite sure what the other person’s talking about. There are some Twitter clients who claim to be able to track replies and threads, but frankly, they don’t work well.
Replies are not private – anyone can search Twitter and see replies unless your profile is private.
If someone asks a question, and you want to see who’s sent in replies, search for their name. For example, if I (@BrentO) ask a question and you want to see who replied to them, just search for @BrentO and you’ll see all of the replies back to me.
Twitter Hash Tags (#)
When there’s a hot topic going on, people will include a phrase in their tweet to make it easier to find. For example, during the Professional Association for SQL Server conference, we include #SQLPASS in our tweets so that we can search Twitter for other people using that tag, and find out where they’re at.
Some common hash tags include:
- #FollowFriday – every Friday, people send out recommendations of their favorite Tweeps who they think you should follow.
- #TCOT – Top Conservatives on Twitter.
- For more hash tags, check out Hashtags.org.
Want More Blogging & Twitter Tips? Follow me on Twitter. I tweet whenever I post a new blog entry, so you’ll always know when I’ve got new stuff. See you online!