President Trump has revealed there’s a method to the random capitalization that we’ve often seen in his tweets. And of course, he used his favored social media platform to explain it.
After claiming that the “fake news” purposefully examine his tweets for errors, Trump insisted that he capitalized certain words for emphasis and not because he thinks that they should be in all caps.
As Vox notes, the tweet on his page was deleted and reuploaded. The first version said “pour over” instead of “pore over.”
That mistake inspired a lot of jokes on Twitter. Even the Merriam-Webster Dictionary got in on the action, offering definitions for “pore over,” “pour over,” and “comb over.” J.K. Rowling, an actual author with bestselling books, also sent out the Twitter version of raucous laughter over the president’s typo.
This is just the latest example of Trump’s “tweet, delete, then tweet” strategy when it comes to correcting the errors in his Twitter missives. He has it quite a few times this year and we’re only halfway through 2018.
As Mashable notes, earlier this year Trump tweeted that Alex Baldwin had a “dieing mediocre career,” instead of a “dying mediocre career.” He said that the Washington Post had “made up made ” garbage stories and praised China’s president for his kind words on “tarrifs.” But one of his most noteworthy gaffes came when he spelled his wife’s name as “Melanie” instead of Melania.
After having written many best selling books, and somewhat priding myself on my ability to write, it should be noted that the Fake News constantly likes to pore over my tweets looking for a mistake. I capitalize certain words only for emphasis, not b/c they should be capitalized!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2018
'pour' hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 3, 2018
'pore over' ????"to read or study very carefully"— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) July 3, 2018
'pour over' ☕️"to make expensive coffee"
'comb over' ????♂️"to comb hair from the side of the head to cover the bald spot"https://t.co/br20fgpmAb
While these mistakes can seem very embarrassing coming from a head of state, maybe we can all take comfort in the fact that the president doesn’t write all of his tweets. As the Boston Globe reported in May, White House staffers often write the social media messages. But instead of making his messages sound more statesmanly, they mimic his style — typos, random capitalization and all. They do it so that the constituents in his base can continue to identify with him.
Technically, this isn’t new, The Boston Globe notes, as presidential speechwriters have typically tried to replicate their Commander-in-Chief’s cadence and syntax. But Twitter is a new frontier for presidential communication and Trump is using it his way. When the staff thinks that he should tweet about a certain topic, they craft a memo to him with a list of sample tweets. Trump then chooses the one he likes the most and it’s shared with his 52 million followers. His audience is even larger when you take retweets into account and the people who’ll see the tweet because a media outlet wrote about it. And the capitalizations for emphasis have the effect of driving the media narrative, Vox reports. When he capitalizes words like WITCH HUNT and FAKE NEWS, the headlines almost write themselves.
Despite the criticism he receives for it, it looks Trump’s Twitter account is here to stay for as long as his presidency lasts. So if you’re still annoyed by typos and random capitalization in presidential messages, the rest of his term is GOING TO REALLY ANNOY YOU.