THE 18th-century philosopher Bishop Berkeley thought things existed only if they were perceived. In all modesty we wish to propose a variant of this doctrine: people exist only if they tweet, or esse est frigere, for those who prefer their axioms in questionable Latin. The basis for this is our report that social scientists have plotted the mood of the whole world from Twitter.I was a bit puzzled by this verb, and admit I had to look it up to see what it meant. Here's the definition according to William Whitaker's Words (I'm on holidays and don't have a real dictionary with me):
After examining half a billion tweets and tallying up when people tweet positive and negative words, they conclude that most of us wake up happy, then things go downhill through the work day until knock-off time, when tweeters resume their early bounciness. This astonishing finding is all well and good, but what about people who don't tweet? Might their mood swings be in the opposite direction? Here our axiom springs into action. Either they are the same as the twitterers, in which case they are superfluous, or they are different but undetectable, in which case who cares? ... All together now: frigo ergo sum. I tweet, therefore I am.
frigo, frigere, frixi, frictus: to roast, parch, fry
I'm not sure how they chose this verb, given that definition. Perhaps there's another meaning not given on-line, or perhaps there's some joke I'm not getting. In either case I would have thought pipiare or titiare (which both describe the sounds birds make) would have been a better choice. Any other suggestions?
UPDATE: unsurprisingly, someone else has already given this some thought. Here are the Rogue Classicist's (who is actually on twitter and has much more authority than I on such matters) suggestions. While I was raeding this I was also distracted by this post, which reminded me of why I love Boris Johnson so much.