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Thursday, July 22, 2010


I just saw the following job posting:

Job Description

Bunchland, a family culture e-zine reaching 10,000 influencer parents twice weekly, is hiring a twintern. WTF is a twintern? It’s an intern whose sole responsibility is to man our Twitter account. Read: You’ll tweet for us. All day. You will share relevant links and have conversations with our 3,500+ followers. If we like you, we’ll let you hang out with our 750+ Facebook fans as well.

I find this interesting from a number of points of view.

First of all, the word twintern, which as far as I can determine is about a year old, possibly invented by Pizza Hut. ("Influencer" might strike you as new, but according to the OED has been around since 1664, though perhaps not as a modifier.)

But I really find intriguing the use of WTF in a job posting.

It's not just the use of a text messaging abbreviation, as clearly this ad is trying to be self-consciously hip and is, after all, about the "Twitterverse".

Perhaps the job applicants will get extra points for writing sentences in their cover letters like this:
"OMG, I am so wanting this job. TTYL."

But it's the casual use of a profanity (even an abbreviated one, but everyone knows what that "F" stands for) that strikes me as truly remarkable.

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.