It seems that Twitter just can’t handle the display of primal screams.
See, I had need to let loose a really good primal scream today. Uncharacteristically, I decided to share it with the online world. It seemed like the perfect method was to Twitter it. And for me, the correct form of a primal scream is “AAAAAAAAA…”, so that’s what I Twittered. Only, I filled the limit: I held down shift-A in Twitterrific until I’d generated 140 upper-case “A”s, no breaks, no punctuation. Just, you know, primal screaming.
What didn’t occur to me was the fact that browsers are really bad at word-wrapping big long chunks of unbroken characters. So my primal tweet seriously disrupted the layout of Twitter for me, and for all 768 people following me (at the time), as a layout table got super-expanded and the scream overflowed various and sundry other element boxes.
Oops. Sorry ’bout that, folks. Though I have to admit there is the part of me that’s secretly pleased: a primal scream should be disruptive. And in some cases, the effect is unintentionally funny and appropriate: like the individual display of that tweet, where the scream runs right out of the “text balloon” and just keeps going and going and going. The failure states become extra levels of commentary on what’s been said. Screamed. They accidentally reinforce the intended message instead of subverting it.
Honestly, that’s kind of cool. I find it all the more delightful because I didn’t intend any of that to happen. I was just blowing off 140 characters worth of steam.
As for why I felt the need to scream so primally, odds are very high you’ll hear all about it tomorrow.