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The meltdown of the meltdown
November 18, 2012 6:05 PM   Subscribe

Who coined the phrase "Twitter is in Meltdown" ?

or even the lesser "Twitter Meltdown" ?

Not that I'd like them hauled before the international court of lame cliches or anything - I just think it would be valuable to know where the historical committee can site the plaque.
posted by sgt.serenity to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
I don't know that "Twitter is in Meltdown" is a common phrase, even among avid Internet users. I've certainly never heard it or seen it used anywhere except for as a synonym of "Some Tiwtter users are mad about X."

"Twitter meltdown" may be used here and there, but that probably just refers to a meltdown that happens to take place on Twitter. I can imagine "Facebook meltdown" being used in the same way.

As far as I know, neither has any special meaning or origin.
posted by aheckler at 6:52 PM on November 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Seconding that. Never heard that before, and I work in the tech industry with a ton of constant Twitter users, and I read Techcrunch, Gawker, and similar pop-tech blogs regularly. Can you cite a reference?
posted by erst at 7:32 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't hazard a guess as to the first usage but I'm seeing references to the phrase back to 2008. For an examples, see:

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/241488/vista-triggers-stephen-fry-twitter-meltdown
http://moblogsmoproblems.blogspot.ca/2008/03/lets-meet-at-sxsw.html (check the comment section)

I will say, however, the odds are good it was popularized (despite the previous two posters never having heard it) by talking heads on all news cable channels and TV morning shows.
posted by sardonyx at 7:48 PM on November 18, 2012


Sorry, I should say those references are to "twitter meltdown" not "twitter is in meltdown" which I would suspect would be a derivation of the first phrase.
posted by sardonyx at 7:50 PM on November 18, 2012


Twitter went into meltdown. The blogosphere went Nate Silvertastic.

An article featuring said phrase 2 days ago. It may not be common amongst those of us not prone to journalistic hyperbole.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:02 PM on November 19, 2012


"Meltdown" was in common usage long before twitter was born. "Twitter meltdown" is just normal usage of the work "meltdown".

It's definition #3 here. Another reference here cites a different origin date (probably wrong) but also notes that the "Metaphoric extension since the early 1980s". My suspicion is the informal/slang usage came about after Three Mile Island.
posted by chairface at 9:29 AM on November 20, 2012


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