TWEETING FINGERS – How to do the ‘hashtag’ with your fingers?

August 10, 2012

The Guardian, Aug 1 – People have started speaking with hashtags. Not often, and not, in most cases, people anyone really likes, but people nonetheless. And the problem – beyond the fact that this is happening at all – is that no one seems to be quite sure how to say, for example, #spokenhashtag.

Abruptly inserting the word “hashtag” mid-sentence just won’t do. It’s far too clunky, like having to shout out “inverted commas!” before and after a suspect sentence, instead of forming a pair of air-quote bunny rabbits.

An “air hashtag” also looks tricky: attempting to draw out the # symbol with a finger takes four time-consuming strokes, and makes you look as if you’ve paused mid-thought to bust out a hand-jive to the imaginary music in your head.

Trying it with two fingers and two quick strokes – one horizontal and one vertical – just looks like an effete mimed raptor attack, while going all-out with two slashes of both hands risks being mistaken for a bizarre attempt at semaphore without flags.

They would all also require you to say “hashtag” while doing them anyway. At least at first, until people caught on.

No, we need standardisation. We need – drumroll please – a hashtag tone of voice. Sarcasm, after all, has one. Why not the humble hashtag? It’s the new gesture-language, and it appears a matter of time before you’ll tweeting fingers everywhere!

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