Quoting Twitter in Journalism: Life as Art?

Bobby Jenks and Ozzie Guillen are no longer co-workers, and Bobby Jenks sure isn’t broken up about it. On joining the Red Sox, Jenks said that he is “looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.”

Although one could hardly be surprised that a Guillen would swiftly and forcefully respond to Jenks’s comments, I don’t think too many people expected that it would be Ozzie’s son Oney with the comebacks. On his twitter feed, Oney railed against Jenks, calling into question his manliness, pointing out his weight problem, and even claiming that Jenks is a “yellow beard dipper.”

That’s all very interesting and exciting, but this story is not what I’m interested in. No, I was more intrigued by the way this story was reported. In the story linked above from ESPN, Oney’s twitter feed is quoted. Like many younger people, Oney doesn’t always use proper grammar or spelling or punctuation or whatever other convention of English you can think of in his tweets. As a result, we have the following fascinating paragraph appearing in print on a national sports site:

Oney Guillen called Jenks an ungrateful “punk” in a series of Twitter posts. In one, he wrote that Jenks should “be a man and tell the manager or the coaching staff how u feel or the organization when u were with the sox not when u leave.” In another, he wrote that Jenks “cried in the managers office bc u have problems now u go and talk bad about the sox after they protected u for 7 years ungrateful.”

It’s not like there was really anything for the reporter to do about those tweets, unless you want everything to read with bracketed corrections every other word. I, for one, find it beautiful in its current form. The paragraph is a stunning merger of the formal and the casual; of the impassive and the emotional; of the edited and the unfiltered. Only here do we see the opposing styles of the convention of the journalistic world and the uncaring typings of the young American communicator laid out in such stark contrast. Indeed, this is life as art.



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Jack Moore's work can be seen at VICE Sports and anywhere else you're willing to pay him to write. Buy his e-book.


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Skillings24
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Skillings24

I strongly believe that everyone should spell correctly at all times. But I might just have Aspberger’s.

rocco
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rocco

Aspergers.

Nate
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Nate

+1

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