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Wil Wheaton: Just one of the feeds you can follow without grinding your teeth.
When NPR ran a piece a couple of weeks ago in which it was suggested that Twitter "tweets" (sorry, that word still gives me hives) should be punctuated and written in sentences, there was some suggestion from commenters that this was a rather bizarre notion, perhaps suggestive of OCD or "unacceptable prescriptivism."
It got me thinking about the fact that Twitter's reputation for abbreviated "thx 2 U" messages doesn't reflect my use of the service at all. Almost no one I follow writes like that. Of course, a lot of the people I follow are writers. Nevertheless, it seemed like a good time to point out that lots (and lots and lots) of Twitter feeds are, for the most part, punctuated, properly spelled (absent the occasional typo), and in sentences. (Obviously, there are exceptions, particularly when people are retweeting from others, playing games, or trying desperately to squeeze into the character limits.)
You can see the list of feeds I officially follow through the blog here (and, of course follow the Monkey See feed here), but here are some of the ones that won't make you feel like you're invading a sixth-grader's list of text messages.
Last night, Wheaton — once of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Stand By Me, of course — wrote about his shock upon being followed (on Twitter, on Twitter, people) by William Shatner: "Head: exploding. Mind: blown." This bit of staccato nerdhood aside, he generally only uses expressions like "OMG" when quoting his cat. You'll see.
Schur is one of your major Renaissance men of the 21st century: he's a showrunner for Parks And Recreation and a writer on The Office, he plays Dwight's Cousin Mose, and for a surprisingly long time, he managed to write incognito as "Ken Tremendous" on the much-missed sports blog Fire Joe Morgan.
Relatively new to Twitter, he's noteworthy for obsessing over sports and being an obvious product of many writers' rooms: once he bites on one of the little games that travel around Twitter, like today's "Things Heard During A Fight," he won't just contribute one — he'll throw out four or five jokes at a time, rat-tat-tat.
Once an MTV personality and now a sort of general entertainment news guy-about-town, Dave Holmes (no relation) writes one of the most eclectic, weird, and enjoyable Twitter feeds I follow. He shares Schur's fondness for Twitter joke-telling games, but he also has a keen eye for short-form culture writing, as when he simply wrote, "I'm Obviously In My Early Thirties, Beth Cooper."
Your Battlestar Galactica source, Ken Burns humor, and more, after the jump...
The showrunner of the upcoming Caprica and a past mucky-muck on Buffy and Battlestar Galactica, Espenson probably has about as much pull as any woman in science-fiction television. She also wrote a delightful blog for quite a while that dispensed lots and lots of advice about writing. (She still does: she recently stressed, "Don't be afraid to cut material of any kind." I'll say.)
You could choose any one of a number of writers at The Onion A.V. Club — they use Twitter in a prolific, delightful fashion pretty much across the board, and all of them use punctuation. But I'm going to pick on movie reviewer Scott Tobias, in part for this pithy, delightful little gem. "The boredom shall blanket you like a newborn's swaddle." Who says Twitter isn't writing?
Feig is also a writer on The Office, and was the creator of Freaks And Geeks. He has an uncanny ability to deliver, via Twitter, fully formed jokes. This one, for instance: "Dear Companies-That-Still-Fax-Junk-Mail-To-My-Machine: Seriously? Faxing? Really? I've got an old Commodore computer I can give you."
Michael Ian Black
One of the members of The State (which we discussed earlier this week) and also one of the stars of the new Comedy Central show Michael & Michael Have Issues, Black is another one who actually completes full jokes in his Twitter feed...kind of all the time. Here's a relatively recent one: "My first thought every time I get a headache: 'aneurysm.' My first thought every time I have an aneurysm: 'flmphh.'"
It won't surprise you, if you watch Savage's show, Mythbusters, that his feed can be a little scattered and more messy-looking than some of these, partly because he throws out a lot of links and so forth. But, like the curious guy he is, he also includes lots of inside information about the show, tidbits about food and other daily-grind details, and irresistible tidbits of all kinds. (It turns out he reads the Declaration Of Independence every July 4th.)