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The Rise, End and Rebirth of @everyword

As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, our beloved Twitter account, @everyword has run its course.

If you’re not familiar with @everyword, it is a Twitter bot designed by renaissance man computer programmer, poet, NYU Professor and even catchy word game creator, Adam Parrish. Looking at the surface level of this bot its purpose was to tweet every word in the English language, tweeting a new word every 30 minutes on the dot. @everyword ended its 7 year run, totaling in at over 109,100 tweets and over 100,000 followers as well, tweeting 48 times a day and over 7,000 times a year.

I know it may seem like this was just a silly twitter account for people to retweet when it said got to vagina or weed, but in actuality this account evolved from one man’s curiosity of Twitter bots in a new and quickly growing platform in 2007 into becoming a platform of its own, inciting discussion, criticism of the language or program, alliterative poetry at times and humor. A showcase of performance art was born upon a relatively new online social hotspot.
Parrish cites one of his favorite moments in the creation of what appears to be a seemingly short narrative alliterative poem: “nuns, nuptials and nursemaid together like is almost like a little narrative.” and how “when you see these words juxtaposed like this, you can’t help but try to find some connection between”.Those who grew up with tongue twisters can gravitate towards sequences such as these.

One of Parrish’s main intentions upon the creation of this account was in the creation of “context” through detailing that “words aren’t just things that we write and use in our speech. They are also things we think about individually. Like sex, weed, swag – when they’re not in a sentence, we can also think about them individually. Everyword raises that question of thinking about a word just from that perspective, as a social object”. This is portrayed in the intermingling of @everyword into one’s own feed where someone may make an obnoxious or irrelevant statement at some point with words like “stupid” or “stupids” being shown above or below in the twitter timeline. @Everyword provides context by offering words that shortly justify our emotions at the moment and even more so by furthering our thought process and forcing us to think even more.

This is where the comment section can at one point become almost a salon of the Enlightenment era where intellectual thought is independently transcribed and added into global communication. One user on Parrish’s blog cites the “weirdest context” of @everyword as the interpretations of users during the “pig” sequences discussing social topics such as the police and business or even “greed, royalties, piracy, etc”.

The best part of @everyword rising to its viral status is that it began as an attempt to satirize the new landscape of something like twitter as in the eyes of Parrish “people were posting meaningless things, totally out of context”. Eventually the simplistic and cerebral nature of @everyword garnered almost a cult following as it became a piece of performance art, documenting the entirety of a language, simply viewing the comments (which contained many hate filled words on how stupid the program is or criticizing when something isn’t a word, which might also speak loads to the purpose of @everyword as acting as both a safeguard from ignorance and allowing people to view a series of letters and phonemes that they might not have previously considered a word) behind a veil of moderate anonymity, as most are not aware of Adam’s identity. This entity seemed to have been spawned out of nowhere as Adam let it the art speak for itself with nothing but a twitter bio saying “Task will complete in 2014”, never involving himself with directly addressing criticisms or altering the list of words (which has an unknown origin as Parrish can’t remember where on Earth he got these words).

To the dismay to twitter users everywhere, on June 7th we watched as our prized account slowly ended, on the edge of our seats as every 30 minutes approached to see if this would be the interval that it all ended. Eventually it did, almost anti-climactically as it didn’t end with “zz” or “zzz” as we anticipated, but with “étui”.

No one could have predicted what would’ve happened to @everyword after its completion, many rumors circulated, that it would start backwards, tweet “Task complete.” Or simply just start over again with “aardvark”. After its completion, Parrish linked us to a new entry on his blog telling us that @everyword is not over just yet and that he will be running the program over again in some time with some modifications for a better word list and a lesser sensitivity to failure. He ends with saying “Without the help of the people close to me, I’m sure that @everyword would have completed its task in obscurity—if it completed its task at all.” in the same way Jesse Eisenberg would say “Fashion is never finished” in The Social Network relating this universal construct of the eternal nature of art.




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