back to article Twitter suffering chronic banality, diagnoses Dr House

Brit thesp and House star Hugh Laurie has told the BBC he's not that impressed with microblogging Web 0.2 phenomenon Twitter, even though he maintains a profile there. Speaking to Radio 4's Front Row programme, Laurie described himself as "bothered by the social cost of every tweet", explaining: "As I look around my friends' …


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  1. SuperTim
    Thumb Down

    Really Hugh? How very dull of you to say.

    I gather Hugh didn't use Tw@tter to disseminate this message then. I also find these people who use this service (and who i can only assume are "Tw@ts") very egotistical. I dont care if you have finished your tea and are now going for a big poo, I have no interest in that at all. So I am neither a reader or a writer of any kind of Tw@ttery.

    That said, this comment may constitute an ego trip, but at least i can use more than 140 characters to do it!

  2. Adam Connelly


    He added: "I think if people were able to take these 140 characters and develop a poetic Western form - a haiku of our own in which all human existence could be compressed into those 140 characters - that would be a satisfying thing, but that's not what I see when I read them."

    Surely something for Lvvvies in the Private Eye

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are you a twit?

    Then twitter is for you!

  4. Stephen Gray
    Thumb Down

    Here here

    Its bollox and everyone here knows it

  5. Anonymous Coward

    re: Really Hugh? How very dull of you to say.

    Then don't read it and ignore stories about it.

    I personally find Football dull. I don't look for every story on the subject and bitch about it.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    A little bit of House-ism might help.

    Normal is overrated.

  7. Hollerith

    you can do more than a haiku

    The tweeting of birds is sweetness to the ear

    Telling us that Nature is near

    Human tweeting is a lesser pleasure

    Telling us nothing we treasure

  8. richard


    yeah that's right, don't have an opinion, just follow the sheep like everyone else and keep your head down. "I personally find Football dull." - isn't that a bitchy comment?

    you seem to have the most comments of anyone on the register stories over the past few months don't you? or is there more than one anonymouse cowherder?

    oh, and sorry, but hugh is right, twitter is for tw@ts, give it 6 months and the next online social revolution will be here...

  9. Leigh Smith


    I agree that Twitter is a waste of time and utterly without point. So are a lot of things people do to amuse themselves. Like, for example, writing articles and comments on the internet about how you don't get the latest internet fad and how it is a big waste of time. Not judging, just saying.

  10. Craig

    Facebook, Twitter

    It's clear most commenters don't like these services! It's odd then that they must chip in on every story to tell us :)

    I don't like a lot of things, so I purposely avoid visiting pages about them... is this beyond the average el reg'er?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What did he expect?

    Encourage people to post short snippets of text at regular intervals, from mobile devices and what have you. That's not a recipe for coming up with anything even half decent.

    I once contemplated (for about 6 seconds) being a Twitter serial killer, timing my posts meticulously to give my "killings" some credibility. That might actually be interesting to read but its far more effort than I'm willing to invest in taking the piss out of a a website.

    Speaking of Twitter's website, the only time I went there I got bored after 3 seconds and closed the window. I'm still not sure I fully understand what it is.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash in the pan

    I know plenty of people who thought it was the best thing since sliced bread a few months ago and now can't be bothered with it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Adam Connelly

    It's called sarcasm. Are you American?

    @SuperTim, re "I gather Hugh didn't use Tw@tter to disseminate this message then": Congratulations on reading the article.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC - 13:09

    No. Instead what you do is comment on other stories that aren't connected to football and then bitch about it. ;)

    I'll have to wait until 19:15 tomorrow to find out for sure, but I guess he was asked his opinion and gave it, rather than attack Twitter out of the blue.

  15. SuperTim

    @ AC 13.09.... Hang on a second....

    It's my right as a grumbly Brit to moan about things i have no interest in. How do you think ombudsmen and watchdogs stay in work?

    I didn't watch Russell Brand and Wossy taking the mick out of Manuel, but i jollywell complained to the BBC about it. After all, it's my licence fee and i want my overinflated opinion noted for the record.

    Now. about you constantly banging on about your disinterest in football. Give it a rest, i am tired of your constant complaining......

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Please Love Me And Think I am Interesting.

    It started with bogs. Now we have twatter. These are just more symptoms of a celebrity culture where some people think they can achieve fame and posterity by publishing details of their inane lives and pedestrian opinions. I don't give a bugger what you did 5 minutes ago - even if you are Stephen Fry. No really, I don't.

    If your friends and family really want to know when you last had a dump, ring them, send them an email. But why do you suppose the other 6 billion of us want to know?

    Stop it now before you start believing anyone gives a toss.

  17. Adam Foxton
    Dead Vulture

    How could you forget

    They were both in Blackadder.

    He even played an utter twit in seasons 3 & 4!

  18. DutchOven

    Sums twitter up really

    "microblogging Web 0.2 phenomenon Twitter"

    Obviously, I understand this may be a typo. If so then it's Freudian in nature...

  19. Stevie Silver badge


    Couldn't care less about Twitter *and* what Hugh Laurie thinks about it.

  20. breakfast


    Bollocks more like!

  21. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Sums twitter up really

    Not a typo. A lovely special running gag.

  22. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Bah!

    Clearly you *could* care less, Stevie, because there is still room for you to care so little as to not even be roused to post comment.

    Therefore your statement is manifestly untrue and I think you should retract it.

  23. Christopher Martin

    If all of twitter is banality...

    ... then what is an article on what some random celebrity thinks about some website?

  24. SuperTim

    I guess it really does divide.

    You either hate twitter or...

    you are a sad loser who is desparate to know anything at all about celebrities and are the direct cause of all the crap telly that is on these days.....

    Mine's the one with the twitterer prodding stick in the pocket.....

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I just had a cup of tea.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some uses

    I think Twitter works very well for certain celebrities to give fans an imagined intimacy while in reality keeping them at a healthy arms length. As a means of delivering news alerts it perhaps has a place. What your definition of 'news' is however can be very personal. If someone in your circle of friends is pregnant a 'tweet' to alert everyone when the birth happens could be a very practical way to diseminate the information.

    Then there is this guy, who is the closest I could find to what Hugh seems to want!

  27. WinHatter

    What ho!

    I guess Hugh 's got all the necessary material from his Wooster character.

    I say !!!

    That twitter jimbles

    Oh dash it !!!

    I'd rather toddle off.

    /Tweed - Right ho Jeeves.

  28. Pete Silver badge


    > I don't understand the purpose of it

    It exists to massage the egos of individuals who haven't yet realised no one cares what they think or do (provided they don't have a gun).

    The small number of characters it imposes allows messages to be typed and read without exceeding the attention span of (well, nearly all of) it's membership.

    So far, it's the closest thing the internet has to a write-only medium.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    "diagnoses Dr House"


  30. Rob Crawford
    IT Angle

    Of some use

    OK so 99.999% of all tweets are dross, funny thing is it's probably a similar percentage of blogs, message boards or personal web pages (actually that probably applies to all web pages) are also shite.

    I have a twitter account and follow a few individuals & company's on twitter. I find a reasonable percentage to be either amusing or informative (particularly for gigs / releases.)

    Ben Goldacre and his bad science links are an excellent source of amusement / despair

    But apart from unless you are very selective it really is shit

  31. Andy Bright

    Twats are awesome

    My favourite has to be the surgeon that twats during surgery. That was just bloody fantastic and I'm sure the victim err patient was delighted by the distraction.

    Oh he probably made the right noises about not being worried because the doctor wasn't being a twat during the surgery itself, only on his breaks, but you have to be honest here and ask yourself if you would want your surgeon's mind on the fucking internet rather than the surgery itself.

    'Yeah mum, I know, but I ask you who needs both kidneys? Besides my surgeon made history and my second heart is lovely."

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Bah!

    > Clearly you *could* care less, Stevie, because there is still room for you to care so little as to not even be roused to post comment.

    This conversation would be really confusing to Canadians as they routinely say "I could care less" when they actually mean "I couldn't care less".

    This in a place where they have cash machines that say "We appreciate your business" if a cash machine could/couldn't (choose as appropriate to your nationality) care less.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    I think the term

    tw@tting is more appropriately aimed at Twitter's detractors than its users. By definition, they don't get it and hopefully never will. It'll save me having to waste my time deciding that they don't merit a follow and, to be frank, I'm deliriously happy to know I won't have the misfortune to be followed by your like.

    Twitter, in any case, has rather shot itself in the foot with the @replies debacle. I'm looking forward to the better Twitter that will inevitably come along. That's the only sure thing in this game.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Lupus

    If only Twitter would develop an auto-immune disorder and start attacking itself ...

  35. Lupus

    Re: Lupus

    I've never used Twitter in my life. I mean, is there a special app needed for it?

  36. SuperTim

    @ AC 17.14

    Yeah, that's right... we don't "get" it.

    In the same way we dont understand why anyone watches big brother or buys Heat magazine.

    We dont understand how anyone can want to follow benal d- list celebs and actually think that makes them interesting and part of the in-crowd.

    And interesting to note that you are delirious that WE dont follow YOU, when we cant possible know who YOU are as YOU have decided to remain anonymous.

    I Get the phenomenon, i just wish it wasnt used by so many saddo's who constantly say "you just dont get it" when they mean "we havent grown up yet and think the 353 friends we have on facebook are real, instead of people who hated us in school".

  37. Chris King Silver badge

    @Sarah Bee "A lovely special running gag."

    How would I describe it ?

    "Persistent IM via the Web, designed for people with gnat-like attention spans, with a 1990's-era user interface and an obsessive compulsion to show me pictures of some stupid whale".

    I'll admit "web 0.2" is a bit snappier though.

    Alien, because we'll need the help of more advanced life forms to work out Twitter's business model.

  38. Anonymous Coward


    You've made it abundantly clear that you "don't get it". No need to repeat yourself. That kind of behaviour would get you rapidly unfollowed on Twitter.

    It's not all "benal(sic) d-list celebs". There are a lot of a-list celebs too if that's your bag. Plus lots of journalists, writers, experts in numerous fields, magazines and newspapers tweeting updated content a la RSS. In fact, I'm glad you're missing out. It's really great.

    I don't use any of the other social networking websites although, inevitably, I've had to open an account on each of them for one reason or another. I reckon that's the case for at least 75% of Facebook's alleged users though I could be wrong. Twitter just isn't like the rest. You can refer to Twitter users as saddos if you like but it seems to me to be demonstrably much sadder to waste time slagging off what you claim to be a pointless website that you don't understand on yet another website which is normally only frequented by borderline austistic IT types with bad body odour, a full gamut of vocal and physical tics not dissimilar to Tourette's and precisely zero friends including family. 353 friends!? Dream on! I also suspect that everyone hated you at school right the way down to the janitor's dog.

    P.S. If I google SuperTim will I find out exactly who you are? The super part is clearly a misnomer and doesn't look much like a forename to me.

  39. unitron

    Never mind the twits...

    ...let's talk about Laurie and Fry working together again.

    What I think would be perfect would be Fry's Wyatt Gordon character from "Bones" showing up on "House" as House's shrink. Somebody slip a note to Rupert.

  40. Richard Freeman

    plural of Twit is?

    Um so let me get this right Hugh Laurie says that only Twits Twit on Twitter - that almost rhymes doesn't it?

    Could we make it into a tongue twister perhaps?

    twenty two twisted twits, twitting together on twitter, twittering their days away ...

    No sorry that all became too banal and I ran out of inspiration although it does sound like something out of a kids ABC book.

    I'll get me coat then - that one there the one with the cuffs tied together...

  41. elderlybloke
    Thumb Down

    Me too

    I am with Mr. Laurie,

    Can't see any point in it, except of a way to fill in time when you can not think of anything useful to do.

  42. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Chris King

    Twitter's business model?

    Given the number of places going: "contact us on Twitter, it's by far the simplest way to get in touch"*, I'd say this has to be:

    1) Borrow lots of money.

    2) Bribe world + dog to mention you as much as possible.

    3) Get lots of extra users.

    4) Sit back and smile at your humungous user base and bathe in the glory of the "darling of Web 2.0" accolade.

    5) Ah. The money. Oops..........

    *For the benefit of any Terriblegraph, Channel 4 or other ADD-ridden meejah types reading this: NO IT F***ING ISN"T!!

  43. Mr Larrington

    Twitter a load of $RUBBISH

    What next/ "Water wet, fire hot" says Laurie?

  44. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  45. YumDogfood


    > Can't see any point in it, except of a way to fill in time when you can not think of anything useful to do.

    Isn't that El Reg?

  46. Mike Noble

    Nah ...

    ... rather have a w*nk...

  47. Sceptical Bastard

    Talking of Stephen Fry...

    I recently read a very astute quote about the king twatter: "Stephen Fry is a stupid person's idea of what a clever person is like"

    Exactly! There is a difference between, on the one hand, a ready wit and a pub-quiz-like ability to remember trivia and, on the other, genuine cleverness and erudition.

    The thing that really gave Fry away (apart from his incomprehensible lust for the assinine and plug-ugly Alan Davies) was his moronic and gushing encomium to Saint Jade when Britain's favourite slut-chav-bitch shuffled off the coil in a blaze of toe-curlingly tacky hysteria. Christ, even Ol' Mother Kray's funeral had more style and dignity!

    Let me summarise my thesis in just 82 characters:

    Twatter away, you smug posh fat twat - and may your tweets come back to haunt you.

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