I saw this come across…uh…Twitter today. It turns out the learned folk who produce the venerable Oxford English Dictionary — "the definitive record of the English language," mind you — monitors the language used on Twitter. OUCH.
"Oxford University Press lexicographers have been monitoring more than 1.5 million random tweets Since January 2009," they boldly state, "and have noticed any number of interesting facts about the impact of Twitter on language usage." Well, duh. Among the amazing findings:
“Watching”, “trying”, “listening”, “reading” and “eating” are all in the top 100 first words, revealing just how often people use Twitter to report on whatever they are experiencing (or consuming) at the time. [hmm...how would you answer the question "what are you doing?"]
Evidence of greater informality than general English: “ok” is much more common, and so is “f***”. [no kidding!]
So clean up your act. I may be tweeting the Queen’s English, but you people are clearly skewing the statistics toward accursed informality and verbs in their gerund form. For shame.