Tweeting proper, the tweet draft and delete and the word ‘wog’

wogs

I’ve been on Twitter properly for about a year. I say “properly” because only this year have I learnt to use it well. I’ve made a few Twitter friends, some great connections and have even built a little readership for my blog. I have also discovered some pretty great other blogs and news outlets along the way, so for me, Twitter has been awesome.

Some of the best twitter accounts come from people that have no filter. They tweet what they think at that very moment and its pure entertainment and totally interesting. Of course, some of the worst twitter accounts also come from people with no filter and they seem to think the world really needs to know about stuff that need not be said. Like, dude. We don’t need to know about your recent experience in the loo.

I am a tweet drafter. When something funny comes into my head, I often think to tweet it. I articulate it in the best way possible, then realise its a waste of space, boring and irrelevant and delete it. You could say I am over-analysing my tweets, but I just say I don’t want my drivel to be in your timeline.

But I am also a tweet over-thinker. Yesterday there was a playful conversation on Twitter amongst “wogs” (in Australia that mostly means people of Southern European origin) about how “wogs” do figs and food well. Mid-conversation, I found myself using the word “wog” and I immediately got twitter fright. Not because what I said was offensive – because I, myself, am of Greek origin and I use the word liberally – but I just wondered if there others that still found the word itself offensive.

Because, truth be told, there was certainly a time when it was not a very nice word. My father has many a story and a few scars from growing up to prove it.

Personally, I use the word “wog” purely for description purposes. Southern Europeans have a lot of similarities – they do a lot of things big. They are big on food, big on hospitality and many of them have big, big personalities. When you say ‘I went to a wog wedding’ – people can picture it instantly. When you talk about your ‘wog bbq’, an immediate vision of a huge spread of food, loud music and a cranking barbie manifests. When you talk about ‘wog parents’, you immediately think of no boyfriends until after university… (my Dad lightened up a bit, thankfully)

Nowadays, I think it’s used mostly as broad word to describe Southern Europeans without having to single out a nationality in particular.

For me, the days of being offended by the word ‘wog’ are over – mainly because I am totally proud of having European origin. If someone used it towards me as a racial slur, I would actually LOL. Because its totally awesome to have a background that is so amazingly rich with history, culture and tradition. And its equally amazing to be Australian, too.

But I’ll admit, after using the word ‘wog’ in a tweet, I did wonder if there were people that were still offended by it.

And is it still one of those words that is only accepted if said by a… wog themselves?

Do you over-think and delete your tweets?

What do you think about words that describe people of a certain ethnicity? Does it offend or bother you?

  • http://leeannewalker1.wordpress.com Lee-Anne

    Great post, Kat. I too am an over-thinker, pondering over my tweets far too much, which means they can lose their spontaneity and at times, it sabotages my tweeting as I’m worried I’ll offend etc. I think it’s an English teacher thing with me, I over draft, over critique and basically over analyse my writing, and everyone else’s!

    My first husband was Jewish and my late husband was a ‘wog’, and both experienced ‘racial comments’ …I think the rule with wogs is that ‘only wogs can use the word wogs’ – I still feel racist using it but my teen daughter tells me I am too sensitive (and she is half wog!? :)

  • http://mammasvidablog.wordpress.com Mamma’s Vida

    Hi Lee-Anne,

    Spontaneity is the key with great tweeting – and that’s where I lack also! Some of the best tweets come randomly and they work, others I leave in the drafts to ponder and then forget about!

    The ‘wog call’ is a tricky one and I think, like with everything, it all depends on context and who it comes from. I am one ‘wog’ that rarely gets offended in general and so the wog tag doesn’t faze me!

  • http://www.pinkypoinker.com.au Pinky Poinker

    I love Twitter and have been on it for about 11 months. Occasionally after a few wines something hilarious will pop into my head which I just HAVE to tweet. The next morning I look at it and think… that was not remotely funny now was it :)

    • http://mammasvidablog.wordpress.com Mamma’s Vida

      Hi Pinky,

      I so know what you mean! Even though I over-think plenty of my tweets, I’m also guilty of the random tweet that turned out not so funny!

  • http://twitter.com/JohnJamesOZ John Anthony James (@JohnJamesOZ)

    Yeah, I’m a bit of a drafter/editor/deletor when it comes to tweets… some of my best tweets never see the light of day for legal/bad-taste reasons! :)

    I don’t really feel the need to share everything that happens to me each day – I tend to share interesting stuff I find online, with the occasional personal tweet if I think people will find it funny/interesting…

    • http://mammasvidablog.wordpress.com Mamma’s Vida

      Hi John,

      Your tweeting sounds like mine! I totally think we should share our drafts one day!
      Agreed though, best to leave random tweeting to funny and/or interesting! Like your love for Indian classical music. That was totally worth a tweet!

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