Thursday, November 16, 2023

absolute bulltwit

Here's a bit of random fun: you'll probably have all seen one or more of the various internet things that attempt to categorise putting an animal's name in front of the word "shit" and the various subtleties of meaning that ensue. Just to be clear, none of these lists are definitive and there's plenty of scope for disagreement; I don't think that Urban Dictionary categorises "horseshit" quite as I would use it, and defining "bullshit" as "lies" is, while probably OK for day-to-day use, not quite in line with its specific technical meaning about which whole books have been written.

Anyway, the point of all the preamble is to introduce the results of a quick and unscientific survey which I cooked up after having occasion to use Twitter's (sorry, X's) search facility to search for instances of the word "bullshit" in my own tweets (sorry, "posts"). I can't remember why now but I'm sure it was important enough to justify taking some time off work to do. So here we go (one example for each):

bullshit: 51 occurrences

horseshit: 7 occurrences. Note that the specific tweet I chose here features a video where someone uses the word "bullshit" to describe essentially the same thing, thereby implying that the two terms are interchangeable in at least some subset of circumstances. I will reluctantly allow this.

dogshit: 7 occurrences

apeshit: slightly surprisingly, zero occurrences. Must try harder! I did once use the word "apeshittery" though which I am going to insist a) is a word and b) counts.

pigshit: once, here. This word doesn't feature in the Urban Dictionary list and pretty much has a single use case: as part of the phrase "thick as pigshit" or some variant thereof, as below.

sheepshit: well, no, but a near-miss here

All other animals: zero occurrences, with the caveat that I haven't appended the word "shit" to the end of every single animal, living or extinct, known to zoology and/or palaeontology and put it into a Twitter (sorry, X) search box. So it's possible that at some point in the past I used the word "pterodactylshit" or similar and it's out there un-found by my research.

Note that I have opted for slightly lower-resolution and generally less satisfactory screenshots over direct embedding; this just reflects my lack of faith in the Twitter (sorry, X) platform's long-term survival under the new regime. 

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