All About That Book (Not the Movie)

Today’s Wednesday Word Tip features books, music, and humor — three of my favorite things. I’ve written before about why the book is almost always better than the movie, but here I sing about why you should prioritize the written word over the screen version.

Hope you enjoy!

Here are the revamped lyrics:

Because you know
I’m all about that book
‘Bout that book, not the movie
I’m all about that book
‘Bout that book, not the movie
I’m all about that book
‘Bout that book, not the movie
I’m all about that book
‘Bout that book

Yeah, it’s pretty clear that I’m a bookworm
I like to read it, read it
Back in my bedroom
My heart goes boom boom when the novel’s really aces
With all the right words in all the right places

I see a bookstore and I start to drool
The library too, even the one at school
My tablet’s full of books that I’ve amassed
‘Cause every page of you is worth it from the first word to the last

Yeah, my mama she told me the novel’s the best place to start
If you want to engage your imagination and your heart
Sometimes the movie leaves out your favorite character or part
So if you want the whole story, girl, get your library card

Because you know I’m
All about that book
‘Bout that book, not the movie
I’m all about that book
‘Bout that book, not the movie
I’m all about that book
‘Bout that book, not the movie
I’m all about that book
‘Bout that book
Hey!

I’m bringing reading back
Didn’t go anywhere, and you know that’s a fact
Some of us like to get lost in the stacks
And I’m here to tell ya
Every page of you is worth it from the first word to the last

My mama she told me the novel’s the best place to start
If you want to engage your imagination and your heart
Sometimes the movie leaves out your favorite character or part
So if you want the whole story, girl, get your library card

Because you know I’m
All about that book
‘Bout that book, not the movie
I’m all about that book
‘Bout that book, not the movie
I’m all about that book
‘Bout that book, not the movie
I’m all about that book
‘Bout that book

Do you enjoy the book better than the movie? What are some examples?

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Town Names: Welcome to Hell

In a former post, I talked about the importance of our own names. But today, I want to highlight fascinating names of towns around the good ol’ U.S.A.  While only two people are typically involved in naming a child, I would think that more input would go into the naming of a town. I don’t know, though, since I’ve never been asked to name a municipality.

Certain town names have clearly been chosen to give you a warm fuzzy feelings and a desire to visit or live there:

Friendly, West Virginia

Magnet, Nebraska

Paradise, Utah

Pleasureville, Kentucky

Welcome, Minnesota

Welcome, North Carolina

What Cheer, Iowa

Other towns, however, aren’t so sure about their appeal:

Accident, Maryland

Boring, Oregon

Cut Off, Louisiana

Embarrass, Wisconsin

Experiment, Georgia

Okay, Oklahoma

Peculiar, Missouri

Uncertain, Texas

Why, Arizona

Whynot, North Carolina

Some towns are named after animals, such as Antelope, Idaho or Swans Island, Maine. But I want to know the stories behind Ducktown, Tennessee; Fishkill, New York; and most especially, Lizard Lick, North Carolina.

Other towns seem to be named after the kind of people you might expect to find residing there. Which of these would you want to live in?

Guys, Tennessee
Idiotville, Oregon
Loco, Oklahoma
Normal, Illinois

Perhaps these towns are named for what one might expect to find there:

Hygiene, Colorado
Jackpot, Nevada
Tightwad, Missouri
Yellville, Arkansas

Some towns don’t have names at all, but numbers:

Hundred, West Virginia
Ninety Six, South Carolina
Village Eight, Hawaii

A few towns changed their names when a company offered some perk. The most widely known is Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. T or C, as it is often called, changed from Hot Springs in 1950 when Ralph Edwards, host of the radio show Truth or Consequences, asked a town in America to rename in celebration of the game show’s tenth anniversary.


The town of Clark, Texas renamed itself DISH, Texas in 2005 in exchange for all town residents receiving free basic television service for ten years and a free DVR from Dish Network. And Halfway, Oregon was temporarily named Half.com, Oregon, for which it received computers and $110,000 from the Half.com company. It has since reverted to Halfway.

Some towns seem inappropriately named, like Unalaska, Alaska; Beach, North Dakota; and Hurricane, Utah. Do they understand where they live?

And some towns are downright scary. There is War, West Virginia and Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Moreover, who wants to drive into a town with the sign “Welcome to Hell”? And yet, there is Hell, Michigan.

More frightening to me is Roachdale, Indiana. You couldn’t pay me enough to live in a place named after roaches! If enough of them occupy the area to determine the town’s name, I’m packing up and moving to Humansville, Missouri – where presumably we have a chance against those nasty exoskeletal creatures.

Finally, here are two of my Texas favorites:  Cut and Shoot and Gun Barrel City.

 

For those towns that simply cannot come up with an appropriate label, they could take a page from a town in Tennessee called Nameless.

What’s the most strangely named town you’ve visited? What unusually named towns are in your state? Where did your town get its name?

Wednesday Words: What is Lorem Ipsum?

While looking through templates for my blog, I read the words Lorem Ipsum perhaps 4,622 times – or at least it felt like it. Have you seen them?

What is Lorem Ipsum?  Well, it’s dummy, or placeholder, text historically used in the printing business. You can find it on software templates now as well, including blog templates.  Lorem Ipsum appears to most to be nonsense wording, such as:

Ea eam labores imperdiet, apeirian democritum ei nam, doming neglegentur ad vis. Ne malorum ceteros feugait quo, ius ea liber offendit placerat, est habemus aliquyam legendos id. Eam no corpora maluisset definitiones, eam mucius malorum id. Quo ea idque commodo utroque, per ex eros etiam accumsan.

From what source did this odd nonsense language originate? Lipsum.com explains that the lines come from The Extremes of Good and Evil by Cicero, written in 45 B.C.  The line begins, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. . .” Roughly translated, Lorem Ipsum means “Pain itself.” The essay from Cicero addresses the partaking of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. If you want to see a full translation of the passage, click HERE.

Odd to think that the words “pain itself” were chosen to grace the pages of printing, newsletter, and blog templates. And why choose text from over 2000 years ago? Why not use the lyrics of Rapture by Blondie? Plenty of those are nonsense too.

Just because…

Typically, Lorem Ipsum generators use a vocabulary of over 200 Latin words somewhat randomly arranged.  (Check out Wikipedia’s entry on Lorem Ipsum as well.)

Lorum Ipsum is not the only dummy text around, however. If you much prefer English gobbledygook, you can try Malevole’s text generator. Or Lorem Ipsum Generator 3 permits you to choose what language your gibberish appears in. The Sitepoint website links to other dummy text generators as well.

Why on earth does this fascinate me? I find words of all kinds intriguing, and the use of placeholder text indicates that words and letters are important even if they mean nothing at all.

It’s a bit like hearing a toddler babble. Young children try out sounds and combinations of sounds until they stumble upon something that seems to have meaning to the adults around them. Then they repeat it. The goo-goos and ga-gas are like placeholder language, until the real thing replaces the babbling.

Moreover, we understand at some basic level that the presentation of text is important, so that we want to see how the words look on the page even before we have specific sentences ready to go. Admittedly, Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address on an envelope, but it still matters how a printed page looks if you want readers to devour it.  Using Latin or other dummy text reminds us how key it is to have our words be accessible to others. It is not enough to speak brilliance to ourselves. We want others to read our words.

Frankly, I’m glad that there was placeholder text so I could view how the blog page would look once I came up with something to say. 

Have you used Lorem Ipsum or other dummy text for any purpose? What do you know about text generators? Might you ever use them? Do you know Latin? Do you think it matters how text is presented to readers? Is content or presentation more important?

Wednesday Words: Euphemistically Speaking

When someone dies, we often say something like, “We lost Uncle Eddie.” In my quirky little mind, I always think, Lost? Like our car keys, an umbrella, or what? If you lose something, you look for it. But we aren’t looking for Uncle Eddie. We know where he is. And we aren’t going to reach between the couch cushions and recover his soul like last week’s change. But saying that we lost someone sounds so much better than saying they died. It’s a euphemism.

What other popular euphemisms are there? There are plenty when it comes to death: passed on, kicked the bucket, no longer with us, etc. But other topics are also too sensitive for us to use frank wording to express our thoughts. How about the following?

Assisted living facility – Nursing homes, or old folks’ homes, had a bad reputation, so these places needed a better moniker for their business. Assisted living facility at least conveys what happens there, but the phrase doesn’t roll off one’s tongue.

Correctional Facility?

Correctional facility – If you’ve been saying that your cousin is in a correctional facility, face it: He’s in jail, prison, the slammer. We all hope that the experience corrects whatever was askew to begin with that landed him in jail, but regardless, he’s locked up like Tweety Bird in a cage.

Electronic surveillance – It’s spying with a camera or bug, plain and simple.

Esthetician– Waxing someone’s nether regions is a hot job these days (no pun intended). I suppose calling your personal hair-yanker an esthetician is preferable to other options, like Follicle Remover, Hair Hijacker, or whatever. I don’t what it should be called, but somehow “esthetician” makes it sound much nicer.

Exotic dancer – It’s not that exotic really. You can find strippers just about anywhere. I’ve never visited a strip club, but my understanding is that their dancing ability also varies in its quality, so dancer isn’t necessarily an accurate term either.

Indisposed– If you call someone and receive the message that he/she is “indisposed,” you might hear the flush in the background soon after. But it is a whole lot better than some of the terms I heard boys call it back in junior high. And we use other euphemisms as well like “using the bathroom,” “taking care of business,” “answering nature’s call,” etc.

Laid off – This euphemism can join “let go” and “downsized,” along with the ridiculous “right-sized” term, to express that your company fired you. Getting fired stinks, and changing its name doesn’t help the person without the job. It just makes the company feel less guilty for kicking an employee out the door.

Over the hill – Exactly when this proverbial hill peaks, I’m not sure. (If you say 40, I’m crawling through the internet, finding you, and smacking you upside the head.) But at some point, when you are truly old, you have to call it something. I plan to call it “chronologically misrepresented” – as in my age won’t indicate how young I really am.

Preowned– Your car is USED. If you can’t say that aloud, buy a new one.

Sanitary landfill – Growing up, we called it the dump. I don’t know what’s so sanitary about it. It’s refuse, trash, waste – all heaped in a pile on some discarded piece of land.

Genesis: “Illegal Allien”

Undocumented worker – When did this term overtake “illegal alien”? I don’t think the Genesis song would sound nearly as good with “It’s no fun being an undocumented worker.” Fun doesn’t even rhyme with that! Immigration policy aside (and I do not discuss politics here!), the term isn’t exactly clear who we are talking about.

What other euphemisms have you noticed? Which ones do you think are appropriate?Which ones seem completely ridiculous? Do you have any euphemisms to suggest? Why do you think we use euphemisms, instead of saying what we really mean?

 

Wednesday Words: Rock Band Names

If you want to have a lot of fun with words, learn to play a musical instrument, form a band, and then name it! One of the interview questions I want asked of bands is how they chose their name. Were they inspired by a person, a place, or a thing? Did they choose it out of a hat or consider the possibility for hours on end before arriving at their moniker? Did one person name it or did all of them agree?

Some band names are rather straightforward – like Heart, Train, and Alabama. Others are a mouthful like Credence Clearwater Revival or Toad the Wet Sprocket.

Here are a few curious rock band names and the origin of those names:

10,000 Maniacs– Originally The Burn Victims, the band changed its name to 10,000 Maniacs based on the low-budget flick Two Thousand Maniacs. According to one source, Steven Gustafson said none of them had seen the 1964 horror movie and thought the title was 10,000 Maniacs.

ABBA – ABBA is an acryonym for its four members: Agnetha, Benny, Björn, and Ani-Frid. It’s catchy and means “father” in Aramaic.

Butthole Surfers– I hate this band name, but you do wonder where they got it. It’s based on an early song they did with the same title. The band called themselves many irreverent or even offensive names and eventually stuck with this one.

Def Leppard –Originally called the Atomic Mass, Joe Elliott joined the band as vocalist and suggested changing the name to Deaf Leopard – which he had come up with at school. Joe also changed the spelling to match up with Led Zeppelin’s name – you know, misspelling.

Duran Duran –This 1980s band was named after the villain in the movie Barbarella, starring a scantily-dressed Jane Fonda. Dr. Durand Durand is the inventor of the Positronic Ray. I have no idea what happened to the extra D’s when the band adopted his name.

Foo Fighters– World War II pilots from the United States War described anomalous balls of light they saw flying alongside them at high altitudes as “Foo Fighters,” based on the Smokey Stover comic strip phrase, “Where there’s Foo, there’s fire.” So essentially, the Foo Fighters are named after UFOs.

Hootie & the Blowfish – Hootie & the Blowfish were named after two friends of lead singer Darius Rucker – one of whom looked like an owl and the other who had fat cheeks.

Led Zeppelin– When Jimmy Page formed the band, Keith Moon, The Who’s drummer, commented that the band would go down “like a lead balloon.” Band member John Entwhistle remarked that it would be more like a “lead zeppelin.” The spelling of the first word was changed, presumably to prevent anyone from mispronouncing it “leed.”

Lynyrd Skynyrd– Lynyrd Skynyrd is a butchering of the name Leonard Skinner, a gym teacher at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, where three of the band members attended. Apparently, Mr. Skinner did not appreciate long hair and sent each of these boys to the principal, resulting in their suspension. All those y’s were used to avoid the legal trouble involved with matching his name too closely.

Mr. Mister –Why the two misters? It was an inside joke about the Weather Report’s album Mr. Gone ,in which there are references to Mister This and Mister That. Then it simply became Mr. Mister.

Nickelback –Thank Starbucks for this one. Before stardom, band member Mike Kroeger worked at the local coffee shop. Whenever a customer ordered a $1.45 coffee and handed over $1.50, he had to give them a nickel back.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys chose their name by combining various words Andy had written out as part of song ideas and lyrics.

Pink Floyd –Pink Anderson and Floyd Council were two blues men who inspired founding member Syd Barrett.

Smashing Pumpkins– Seriously, I could not get a straight answer on this one. The band has given various responses to the question, none of them making any more sense than the “Smashing Pumpkins” moniker itself. Does anybody out there know?

The Grateful Dead– Originally called the Warlocks, that name was being used by another band also. Presumably, Jerry Garcia found the phrase “grateful dead” in a dictionary one night, which refers to a spirit who is thankful to a living person who has helped him find peace. From the Egyptian Book of the Dead: “Amidst the sullen darkness, there shown a solitary light. For it is known ‘neath the sands of the pharaohs that deep in the land of night, the ship of the sun is drawn by the grateful dead.”

Thompson Twins– Growing up, I could never figure this one out since there were three of them and no one was a twin. But the band is named after Thompson and Thomson, Scotland Yard detectives in a Belgian comic bookseries called The Adventures of Tin-Tin. Though not related,the two fictional characters are at times referred to as twins.

Three Dog Night– Vocalist Danny Hutton’s girlfriend saw a documentary on indigenous Australians who used the expression “three dog night” to refer to a night so cold, one needed to sleep with three dogs to stay warm. Appropriately, the band had three lead singers.

ZZ Top – It has been theorized that they were named after two brands of cigarette rolling papers – Zig Zag and Top. However, guitarist Billy Gibbons stated that it was a combination of blues men Z.Z. Hill and B.B. King which led him to ZZ King, and then – figuring that B.B. King was on top – ZZ Top.

What band names do you like? Have you ever considered what you would name a band? Do you like knowing the origin of band names? Be sure to also check out Erin Brambilla’s post on What Would You Name Your Punk Band? with a link to a band name generator.

Prickly Pronunciations

These words all rhyme:

New
Cue
Lieu
Woo
Do

So how do you spell the “oo” sound in English?  Um, it depends. 

The English language represents a mixing of cultures because it has borrowed words from many other tongues and pronunciation has evolved.  Often, this leads to confusion about pronouncing words in general because there aren’t standard rules for many letter combinations.  We grabbed words from everywhere, so the word may have been anglicized or the spelling from the original source might remain in some form. 

I have often been glad that English is my first language because learning it later in life would probably feel like picking grains of rice out of pile of mud – tedious to say the least.  I read a poem to this effect a long time ago and saved it in my files.  It’s a brilliant summary of the difficulties of pronunciation in our English language.  Take a look. 

Recovering Sounds from Orthography

Brush Up Your English 

I take it you already know

Of tough and bough and cough and dough.

Others may stumble but not you,

On hiccough, through, plough and through.

Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,

To learn of less familiar traps. 

Beware of heard, a dreadful word

That looks like beard and sounds like bird,

And dead – it’s said like bed, not bead.

For goodness’s sake, don’t call it deed!

Watch out for meat and great and threat:

They rhyme with suite and straight and debt. 

A moth is not a moth in mother,

Nor both in bother, broth in brother,

And here is not a match for there,

Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,

And then there’s dose and rose and lose –

Just look them up – and goose and choose,

And cork and work and card and ward,

And font and front and word and sword,

And do and go and thwart and cart.

Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start. 

A dreadful language? Man alive,

I’d mastered it when I was five. 

The funny thing is that most people do master English – more or less.  We’re not all great spellers, and we have to scratch our heads now and then to think about which letters to use.  But we mostly get it. 

So how do you make the /ee/ sound now?

Why is that?  First, we typically learn the sound of a word before its spelling.  So while the spelling may strike us as unusual, we still know that [throo] is a word which we now associate with “through.”

Second, although we are often taught as children to sound things out, it is better to memorize whole words.  And what’s the best way to memorize words?  Well, if you read a lot (whether novels, comic books, magazines, online, etc.) and practice writing words correctly, pronouncing and spelling them becomes second nature. 

What pronunciations do you find particularly quirky in the English language?  What amazes you about our ability to master our native tongue?  If English is your second language, has pronouncing words tripped you up at times?

Word Weaver, Sandra Boynton

Sandra Boynton with her chickens

If you’ve never heard of Sandra Boynton, you are missing out.  Most parents have either seen Boynton’s children books or heard her CDs.  She has also designed numerous greeting cards.  What I love most, though, are her songs.  Here’s a woman who has beautifully combined her eclectic taste in music with a love of language and a big dose of good ole fashioned silliness.   

I hereby nominate Ms. Boynton for my own Word Weaver Award (in the category of lyrics): 

Word Weaver Award

When Ms. Boynton came out with her acclaimed book and music CD, The Philadelphia Chickens, I bought it at the recommendation of a friend.  After which I had to go back and purchase Rhinoceros Tap and next Dog Train.  I haven’t acquired her latest music CD, Blue Moo, although I’m assured it’s a must-have. 

Ms. Boynton teamed up with Michael Ford on these CDs to produce high quality, fun music with great lyrics sung by a wide range of entertainers – including The Bacon Brothers, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, Scott Bakula, Meryl Streep, The Spin Doctors, Alison Krauss, John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting, Hootie & the Blowish, Neil Sedaka, and Brian Wilson. 

One of my personal favorites is Kevin Kline singing Busy, Busy, Busy.  What do you think? (Okay, wanting to scream. Link doesn’t work because Franklin Covey Planners bought the rights to the video to demonstrate something about time management to corporate people. Ugh. My kids loved that video.)

I contend that lovers of language of all ages – from child to geezer – can enjoy the lyrics and music woven by Boynton and sung by a slew of the talented performers. 

Here are a few more: 

Davy Jones of the Monkees singing Your Personal Penguin

 B.B. King singing One Shoe Blues

Adam Bryant singing The Shortest Song in the Universe

If you’re looking for some language and music fun for your kids (or just you), I highly recommend Sandra Boynton’s CD’s.  Of course, her books and cards are fun too. 

Do you have any favorites of hers?  What other singers or composers have music aimed at children that even adults will love?  Who would you nominate as a brilliant Word Weaver?

Wednesday Words: Tongue Twisters

You had to know eventually I would get around to mentioning the TONGUE TWISTER!  My father was a speech and preaching double-major in college, and apparently one of his professors used tongue twisters to help students enunciate better.  My dad loved introducing these to his children.  Thus, “She sells seashells by the seashore” was heard more times in my house than “Pick up your shoes.”  (And I still can’t say it 10 times fast!) 

There are basically two types of tongue twisters – either a few lines that are difficult to say in and of themselves or a single line that is difficult to repeat.  For instance, “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” is an example of the former and requires practice to master.  An example of the latter is “Flash message,” which isn’t hard to say on its own; but try repeating it 3-5 times in a row, and your tongue starts to tangle! 

Tongue twisters are an integral part of three movie plots that I can think of.  In the classic Singin’ in the Rain, Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor meet with a diction coach to ready themselves for the “talkies” that are taking over the silent film industry.  Here are a few of the twisters mentioned: 

“Sinful Caesar sipped his snifter,
seized his knees and sneezed.”

“Chester chooses chestnuts,
Cheddar cheese with chewy chives.
He chews them and he chooses them.
He chooses them and he chews them.
Those chestnuts, cheddar cheese
And chives in cheery, charming chunks.”

Source: COcOtTe Minute blog

Of course, the fun culminates in the fun song, “Moses supposes his toeses are roses, but Moses supposes erroneously.” 

[Technical difficulties]

Then, in My Fair Lady, Professor Higgins tries to teach the cockney Eliza Doolittle how to speak properly using twisters as well.

“In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen.”

“The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.” 

Most recently in The King’s Speech, teacher Mr. Logue uses a tongue twister to loosen up Prince Albert so that he can speak more smoothly.  (Of course, there is far more than mechanics involved in the prince’s stutter; thus, the movie.)  Here is the one mentioned:

“I have a sieve full of sifted thistles and a sieve full of unsifted thistles, because I am a thistle sifter.”

Here are few more tongue twisters to try: 

There was a fisherman named Fisher
Who fished for some fish in a fissure.
Till a fish with a grin,
Pulled the fisherman in.
Now they’re fishing the fissure for Fisher.

Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks.

Black background, brown background (repeat) 

Tom threw Tim three thumbtacks (repeat) 

Real rock wall (repeat 

Source: English Tongue Twisters

To top this post off, I hereby offer my own rendition of Peter Piper – which I could never say as a child, but finally (check it out, Dad) I have mastered it!

Now what are you favorite tongue twisters?  Can you think of any other movies (or books) that use tongue twisters?  Did you try any of the ones above?  How did it go?

Wednesday Words: What’s Your Pet Peeve?

No, not that! Anything but THAT!

What is your greatest pet peeve in common language usage?

I polled some friends and here are a few I heard:

  • Confusing words like your and you’re; to, too, and two; idea and ideal
  • “Anyways” instead of Anyway”
  • Ending sentences with a preposition
  • Misuse of lie/lay, that/which, due to/because of
  • Redundancies like “Return back”
  • Mispronunciations like “arthur” instead of “author”
  • Problems with compound possessives – “My wife and I’s kids” instead of “My wife’s and my kids”
  • “Yeah” instead of “Yes, ma’am” (maybe that’s a Southern thing)
  • “Like,” “and so on,” “and all,” “all that,” “you know” peppered throughout speech 

But the winner of my informal Facebook poll would be the person who agrees with my all-time pet peeve.  (Good job, Amy!)  My own vote is the oft-used phrase, “I could care less.”  Well, I reply, then do.

You see, what people are actually trying to communicate is that they don’t care at all.  The original phrase, therefore, is “I couldn’t care less” – as in “I could not possibly care any less than I currently do because I don’t care at all.”  If you “could care less,” then that means that you care some! 

In this case, I do not accept that the phrase is simply changing; the argument that language is fluid and always evolving, that the correct word or phrase is what people most commonly use.  Because the phrase simply doesn’t make sense in that way. 

Whenever I hear it, I feel like Wolverine’s claws are scraping against the language center of my brain, ripping apart all that is good and holy.  And half of the time, it is from someone I don’t know well, so I can’t interject, “Hey, that’s wrong!” without risking weird stares, societal ostracizing, or getting pushed onto my keister.  (Though I can be found from time to time yelling at my TV or radio, “I couldn’t care less!!” to someone who has misused the phrase yet again.)  Also, adding rudeness to poor language usage falls into the “two wrongs do not make a right” category. 

So do you have your own language pet peeves?  What are they?  How do you handle it when you hear them?

What’s Your Handle? I Mean, Twitter Username?

So you finally decide to jump into the deep end of social media and sign up for a Twitter account! And then you are asked what your username will be? Hmmm. There are so many possibilities! Should you use your actual name – or some variation thereof since there are probably already 1200 Hannah Smiths out there? Should you reference your hobby, like Beekeeper or Dancer? Should you proclaim that you have children – Mommyof4 or HappyDad? Should you go with something fun or sexy, like JokerMan or BootyBabe? 

Having been on Twitter for several months now, I find it interesting what usernames people choose as they tweet to the world their personal thoughts. What you choose says a lot about yourself!

Burt Reynolds, Smokey & The Bandit

I am old enough to remember CB radios (can anyone say Smokey & the Bandit?). Twitter usernames often remind me of CB handles. “Breaker, breaker 1-9. This is Sugar Puppy calling Book Reader. What’s your twenty?”

With both CB radios and Twitter accounts, people can get creative. I checked out a few Twitter usernames and found these curious ones:

Ilikesleep – I wonder how often this guy tweets if he’s snoozing all the time.

throatwarbler – Now that is an interesting hobby!

batgirl – And she isn’t the only one; there are several variations of Batgirl out there.

pizza_of_death – I didn’t click on this one because for some reason it creeped me out.

luckypluck – Guitar player maybe?

bug_girl – Hey, she’s apparently into entomology!

mylaundrystinks – I’m not sure I’d advertise that to the whole world.

 

As for me, I tweet under the fabulously imaginative moniker @Julie_Glover. Yep, that’s it. Despite the curiosity of quirky nicknames used on Twitter, there are a lot of people communicating under their real names as well. For an author or businessperson, your true identity is the way to go because it is your brand. (See Kristen Lamb’s post on the Cutesy Moniker Tweeter.)

But it is tempting to think up some wild nickname! Although I have to admit that I don’t know what few letters would encompass what I want to say to the world about myself. Would I focus on my attributes, my job, my family, or something else?

How did you choose your Twitter name? Do you like your tweeps using their real names or nicknames? What does your Twitter name say about you? Have you seen any other unusual usernames?