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Twitter Rescues a Word From Literary Extinction and Gives it a Whole New Meaning

The diagram below illustrates the steady decline in the use of word “twitter” in the English literature. It appears as though the word would have been nearly forgotten if it wasn’t for Twitter’s launch in 2006. Soon after that “twitter” becomes “Twitter” (or @twitter) and the first association is of a 140 character micro-blogging service, everything else has been shadowed by the new Internet phenomenon.


On closer observation we notice an interesting spike for the word “twitter” in 2004, two years before the launch of Twitter.com. This hints at a possibility of something which acted as an inspiration to Jack Dorsey and his mates:

[W]e came across the word “twitter,” and it was just perfect. The definition was “a short burst of inconsequential information,” and “chirps from birds.” And that’s exactly what the product was.


While searching for potential clues we encountered a strange problem with Google’s date range search which made our investigation into this matter rather difficult. If you know of an event in 2004 that would have caused for word “twitter” to be used more in literature tweet this post and let us know.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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