SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Beginning June 1, Twitter users will face a new limit of 31 characters per message, a restriction deeply troubling to the Twitter community. But even more alarming to many Twitter users is that the messages (or tweets) will have to be written in an abbreviated alphabet of only two vowels (A and E) and five consonants (D, G, M, S and T), according to a 14-character tweet from the company.
An exclamation point will be the only punctuation mark allowed.
“We’re trying to solve the problem of logorrhea or what we call digital diarrhea,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “People are using way too many letters and words to say nothing or less than nothing or even less than that. Our main concern is to raise the level of communication on Twitter by eliminating the hooey and claptrap, which means eliminating nearly everything.”
By restricting allowable letters, the company intends to make tweeting harder so that people only do it when they have something important to say. In an interview with Fox News Host Greta Van Susteren, Dorsey offered examples of how to tweet while using the new restrictions. He broke the tweets down by topic:
Politics: Egad! Mag sed Dems dam dam mad
Sports: Egad! Me tad mad at dam team sag
Celebrity: Egad! Mag sed dame dam sad mess
Romance: Egad! Date set meet get me mate
Restaurant: Egad! Me sat ate de egg meat
Dorsey said the company plans to eliminate one more vowel (A) and two more consonants (D and T) by the end of the year, leaving E, G, M and S as the remaining allowable letters.
“And if the quality of tweets hasn’t improved by 2017,” Dorsey added, “we’re prepared to phase out all letters completely so we’re not guilty of enabling the equivalent of chipmunk and squirrel chatter via Twitter. We’ll replace letters with numbers (1, 3 and 7). Users will tweet the number 1 to indicate a positive thought or feeling; 3 to indicate a negative thought or feeling; and 7 to indicate any blend of both.”