Tuesday 24 October 2017

Grace Dent: Following footballers tweets is like setting your face against an outgoing sewage pipe

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand smiles at the fans during training ahead of a warm up match against AmaZulu, in Durban
Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand smiles at the fans during training ahead of a warm up match against AmaZulu, in Durban

IN this week's Twitter-spat news: footballer Rio Ferdinand is in lumber for LOL-ing at a tweet from a stranger in which Ashley Cole was called "a choc ice". Some people say "choc ice" is a low-level, snotty, racially motivated term meaning "black on the outside, white inside". Others say, Ferdinand most vehemently, that the term has shifted meaning to a non-racial, but definitely bitchy "fake".

Phrases shift their impetus and thrust continually – this fact anyone intelligent knows for sure. Ferdinand's actual response to the choc ice comment was: "That's classic." But, let's face it, Ferdinand has 3,066,607 followers and gets hundreds of messages whizzing past a minute, so I doubt he gave it much, if any, thought. Gosh, how I wish it was possible to report the important world of Twitter to non-tweeters without sounding like Zaphod Beeblebrox on The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. It's all a bit "Rio has 97 Earthly Thang-bugs in his planetary force! Cyber-police are enforcing the mind-zap!"

Anyway, Derbyshire Police are investigating. And right now a Twitchfork mob of "random internet idiots who own computers but have no facility to extrapolate facts" are slinging crap about, hoping it sticks.

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