Gametag — is a term that I created to describe the use of #hashtaqs in contests or simple word games played on Twitter, and other social networks that support such tags.

Sometimes I, my friend @lizzWinstead, or some other Twitter addict will create a tag and put it out there and see if others will find it amusing and join in by tweeting some quip, definition, remark, or other form of "submission" to the #gametag stream.

Most often, these are just for fun, and tossed out at random, but there are many people who are addicted to creating them in hopes that they will become a "Trending Topic" (#TT), and get listed in Twitter's search interface.  Some try to make this happen to promote an event or product (but these are usually obvious, rarely much fun, and often fail to gain much traction).

A popular gametag can be followed—or at least noticed—by thousands, even millions of people on social networks.

Many gametags are based on a breaking news event, such #balloonBoy or #StupaksNewJob, but the majority of them are predicated on some amusing premise such as #TeabaggerMovieTitles, #3wordsAfterSex, or #4WordStories.

For example, #TeachOlbermann was a new gametag I created to teach new Tweep, Keith Olbermann what people think he should know about Twitter—or the politics, culture, allure, or hazards thereof. About 1% of them were serious, and the rest merely funny—or trying hard to be.

Note: You never know with tags. Sometimes they soar, and become a "trending tag," and at other times they're just dog tags and die a quick death).

Some Recent Gametags

Note:  These may be removed from Twitter by the time you read this.


I make enough of them myself, and get asked often, so I figured it was time to post some of my reference materials for basic English usage, organized by the most common types of mistakes.  I have hundreds, and will cull through them and update this frequently. This is merely a start.  If you have great tutorials or guides, please post as a comment.


Capitalization After A Colon?

Commas — Before Quotation Marks


I vs Me

Between you and me, this is one of the biggest of the errors seen on the web after "looser" used for "loser." (See Looser)

Looser vs Loser

  • Looser means something that is not firmly held or fixed in place.
  • Loser is what you appear to be when keep confusing Looser and Loser and calling it a typo when anyone points it out.

Your vs You're


General Guides & Tutorials

Related Guides and Tutorials


  Grammar Myths & Myth Busters

  • Grammar Myths (Grammarphobia.com) — Patricia T. O'Conner and Stewart Kellerman met as editors at the New York Times. By the time their collaboration began, they had more than half a century of experience as writers and editors between them.

   Web & Document Design and Typography

   Plagiarism and Ethics

  • Plagiarism (WIkipedia) — "Plagiarism is not only the mere copying of text, but also the presentation of another's ideas as one's own, regardless of the specific words or constructs used to express that idea. In contrast, many so-called plagiarism detection services can only detect blatant word-for-word copies of text."
  • Avoiding Plagiarism (Tutorial)



  • Google Dictionary — Finally—and years late—a dictionary that pulls multiple meanings from multiple sources without the annoying ads or interface drama of other meta search engines. Be sure to get the plug-ins for your browsers. I have one for my Ubuntu linux desktop. I can double click any word, in any application or tool, and then click one desktop button to launch a browser with the Google Dic. results.  A fantastic resource that should have been possible in the 1980s. We had the technology.

Who Says: Narrative Authority In a Fragmented World

Jay Rosen tweeted this seminal post by Megan Garber, articulating what the web and digital media are doing to authority memes and journalism's role in this bizarre new world.

Since the need to manage the tangled and competing taxonomic hierarchies of such a Narrative Big Brother has been my professional fascination for years, I couldn't help but notice.  

I think it's required reading for every journalist, citizen, media theorist, media guru, social media consultant, politician, educator, and student. Ok, ok….make that everyone that can fucking read.

Transparency needs to be about fostering conversation rather than ending it.

Megan Garber

Read: Who Says : CJR.