Tagged: social media

Thanks to Barraco Barner there are at least 7.000 self-proclaimed linguists in the world

Today every media in the world is talking about Gemma Worrall, the British woman who spelled Obama’s name wrong in a tweet: “if barraco barner is our president why is he getting involved with Russia, scary”. Her tweet got retweeted at least 7.000 times where people mostly treated her as stupid, dumb, ignorant, a shame for the United Kingdom for not having notions of politics, etc. Although the theme here could be: “who cares?”, it is worthy looking at the reasons why so many people have fun shaming her.

You might not be that clever even if you know how to spell Obama’s name

Well, I know loads of people who know how to spell Obama’s name but would never ask themselves what is happening in Russia, simply because 1) they are stuck with a very vague idea of what the cold war could have been: scary ; 2) Russia is too far and you don’t fly through to go to Phuket=no need for it; 3) and where is Russia anyways. At least Gemma Worrall shows some interest in world’s politics even if expressed in a totally non mainstream manner. Does somebody deserve to be despised because of lack of education/verbal articulation/categorization? No. Why does every paper highlight that she is a “beautician”, like being a beautician was an explanation to the whole story (woman=beautician=no brain)? Because female-dominated professions are always frowned upon.

Did you guys go to graduate school to learn how to humiliate others? Wasted money, you could have gone to work! Class-based discrimination is a shameful attitude, even worst when it goes together with other forms of oppressions (like sexism). So you Gemma-blamers might be really sexist (not a little).

Ever heard of cyberbullying?

All of a sudden the world is filled with linguists and political scientists who crazily tweet about Gemma Worrall for the sole sake of blaming her. 7.000 intimidating Twitter posts plus several newspaper articles from South Africa, Australia, Belgium and more reported the story. According to the Oxford Dictionary, cyberbullying is “the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature”. Dear Wikipedia says: “cyberbullying is the use of Information Technology to harm or harass other people in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner”. In many of her responses Gemma seemed to be really shocked of the amplitude of the situation even though she tried to minimize this disproportioned media coverage. Ever thought that you are bullying a young woman impeding her to use the social media?

Message for Gemma’s angry commentators: we don’t need your harassing normative spelling culture, oh no!