Poignant Tweet

Published on Jan 9th, 2012 by

Every so often on Twitter someone will come out with a poignant tweet, and it gets retweeted by a bunch of people in your feed throughout the day, or if the initial tweeter is lucky, the entire week. The poignant tweet must not be confused with the sensationalist tweet, or the scaremongering tweet, or especially not the actually-fucking-informative-and-worth-retweeting tweet. Poignant tweets are usually a take on a current subject matter, while remaining somewhat ambiguous so as to apply to a more general set of situations.

There are a few ways to approach a poignant tweet. Firstly, you need to keep abreast of current chatter. It shouldn’t be too hard to do, that’s what Twitter is for after all. It helps if the current chatter revolves around a controversy or a negative incident which has happened. Usually this incident involves the industry the tweeter works in or is part of. Here’s an example I have made up which could be tweeted by someone in the video games industry, feel free to tweet it yourself with minor changes.


This is something of a middling effort, as it doesn’t really relate to any current topic. You can still utilise the poignant tweet at these times though, just say something which feels a bit catch-all. Sometimes unleashing a poignant tweet out the blue can lead to maximum retweetage.

If you’re having trouble composing a poignant tweet then there’s an easy way to think one up. Stand up and look down at your feet, then adjust your gaze up about 45 degrees. If this still isn’t working, adopt a facial expression which falls somewhere between melancholic and smug. Nod your head sagely, three times (but no more). If you’re really desperate, try wringing your hands, but for some this is a step too far.

What the most prolific tweeters won’t tell you is that there’s a trick to the poignant tweet. It’s all well and good saying something genuinely meaningful, but people find that harder to get behind because it might require action. The trick is to say something which has absolutely no basis in rational discussion, either by using a sweeping generalisation or simply making up a problem that doesn’t exist. Don’t provide solutions to this problem, and ensure there’s just enough ambiguity in your poignant tweet that nobody really knows for sure what you’re suggesting. That way, people are just as likely to retweet it in the hope someone else will inadvertently explain it to them. Dress up your poignant tweet in evocative, verbose finery and generally make it as impenetrable as possible while giving just enough hints as to your subject matter in the first place. The most successful formula is something like ‘[Subject] is [abstract statement], [barely feasibly solution] by [made up shit]‘.

It may take a few tries, but with enough practise you’ll be well on the way to creating a host of poignant tweets of your own. I just hope you’re prepared to pay the high price of fame that your newfound twitter success will bring.


If all else fails, you can always resort to things like nonsensical rewordings of Bon Jovi lyrics. Good luck!

Latest Comments (1)

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June 8, 2015 2:22 pm Reply

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