RESPONDING TO A QUESTION on Quora, I used my answer as the basis for a short article that I titled, “Conservatives Not Exactly Enthralled by Trump Are a Problem.” I was addressing what I assumed was a conservative individual who posted that some conservatives “aren’t exactly enthralled” with Trumps’ presidency.
The point of my piece was to take the questioner to task for so timid a response to Trump. I wrote:
“We have watched him run amok for two years as the president, throwing what appear to be temper tantrums via tweets (“tweetrums”?) on a daily basis. We have read these tweets, which are often as grammatically challenged as they are factually challenged.” (NU)
Moments after publishing my article, a friend contacted me and asked if I had coined the term tweetrums, which I didn’t know.
Perhaps I had.
In the 1990 movie Cry Baby, Johnny Depp plays a young greaser—who acts a lot like Elvis in his first movies in the’50s—who can shed a tear on cue and melt the hearts of women of all ages. It’s a movie by John Waters, so it’s not your normal Johnny Depp movie. (Like there’s any such thing, right?) The drawing above is by Lots of Lowe for the Deviant Art website.
Someone behaving like a child
So I am writing this piece about my possibly coining a new word that is so os very applicable to what’s happening every day on the Internet and therefore on the news.
My unofficial definition and explanation of tweetrums: the word is made by joining two other words: tweet and tantrum.
Posting on the social media website Twitter. It is both a verb (for example, “President Trump tweets regularly, some might say obsessively”) and a noun (“President Trump’s latest tweet again accused Mueller of a witch hunt”).
An uncontrolled expression of childish anger; an angry outburst by a child or by someone who is behaving like a child. (Merriam-Webster).
The President tweets regularly—some might say obsessively—while millions of people around the world think of childish temper tantrums when they read the President’s tweets.
Hence, tweetrums: “tweeting like a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum.”
Right now, the word tweetrum is almost exclusively associated with the 45th President of the United States. Should someone else wish to emulate the President, their messages might better be called tweetrumps.
Remember you read it here first!
“Our prime minister has invited Trump to the UK on 13 July, when he will probably gloat and smirk over our Brexit misfortune, and hope to bully us into subjugation. To do justice to the enormity of the occasion, a group of activist friends and I have had a six-meter-high blimp made of Trump as a giant orange baby, with a mobile phone clutched in his tiny hands. Trump Baby is the kind of protest that would be impossible to ignore during the presidential visit.” (Guardian)
Alas, trumped again
I wrote the text above without researching the word tweetrums. When I did look it up on Google and if I found no other reference to it, I wanted my article to be ready to launch this post immediately before anyone could see my having looked the word up and beat me to the punch. So when this piece was finished, I googled tweetrums.
Alas, trumped again: I found evidence that others had trumped my coinage of the word on the first page of Google. The earliest use of the word in reference to Trump’s outbursts appears to have been by David von Drehle in an article about Mueller for Time magazine from June 2017 (“Trump’s future tweetrums“).
I found it used even earlier in a piece on baseball from 2013 on the Marlin Maniac website (“post-season fire sale temper tweetrum“).
So, no need to remember anything, as you didn’t read it here first.
FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page is by caricaturist DonkeyHotey and accompanied the article “For the Fourth Time Today Trump Again Posts Juvenile Crybaby Tweets” by David Badash for the New Civil Rights Movement website. After taking the President to task for what could be hyperbole, Badash notes that “in the middle of what should be for the leader of the free world a busy Thursday afternoon workday, Trump has posted yet another angry, juvenile tweet, this time complete with typos.”
Postscript: If I had a photo of me as a child, I might have used instead of the Johnny Depp drawing. I was high-strung, highly emotional, and cried whenever I was frustrated or angry. Consequently, I was known as a cry-baby. That certainly didn’t do my self-esteem any good!
By the time I had matured, my crying was reserved for scenes in movies where wolves are shot for sport by drunken US Cavalry troops—and you don’t get a prize if you know what movie I’m referring to—and chick-flicks.
Let me tell you something, you take a woman on a first date to a chick-flick and she’ll think you’re amazing. Cry during all the right scenes and you’re in like Coburn. (Yeah, that’s another movie reference . . .)