I’ll be honest. I don’t Tweet. This has less to do with my reluctance to use social networking technology (although that may be part of it) and more to do with the fact that the text messages are limited to 140 characters. Seriously? Give me Fitzgerald over Hemingway any day.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the witty, often snarky turn-of-the-phrase as much as the next person. I realize, however, being someone who is challenged by having to answer a yes/no question without the embellishment of explanations or context, I won’t be uttering them.
Recently, I found myself flipping the pages of a SkyMall magazine and ran across two full pages of tee-shirts, each with its respective catchphrase. It occurred to me that Twitter might be the next iteration of tee-shirt messaging. (“Everything old is new again.”) How different, really, is a tweet from tee-shirt “speak” or, for that matter, from a bumper sticker, cocktail napkin or coaster? All require a fairly succinct message. A tee-shirt encourages a following by immediately alerting others to our sports team preferences, fraternal association memberships, political affiliations and philosophical leanings. Tee-shirt slogans also provide instantaneous entry into a private club with its own insider language and traditions. Two illustrations spring to mind.
I am, for example, a “Big Ten” girl living in North Carolina and whenever I catch sight of the golden Tiger Hawk logo emblazoned on someone’s shirt, I feel as if I’ve been reunited with family, or at least, with a fellow Hawkeye. Secondly, not long ago I saw someone wearing an “Opera Carolina” tee-shirt which bore the phrase, “Is She Dead, Yet?” and recognized the joke shared by many opera fans. (By the way, in case you didn’t know, most operas do not end well for the hero and heroine.)
So with no apologies, I’ve returned to the SkyMall pages and have included some of the slogans, including the one referenced in the title, which resonated with me.
“If only closed minds came with closed mouths.”
“It’s my cat’s world. I’m just here to open cans”
“Those who can teach; those who can’t pass laws about teaching.”
“Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.”
“Contrary to popular belief, no one owes you anything.”
And, last, but not least, “I’m not a pessimist; I’m an optimist with experience.”