In my last post, I wrote about the nature of a subtweet, and how you can actually subtweet outside of Twitter, in the *~real world~*. In researching that post, I came across an adjacent topic. That is, what is the opposite of a subtweet? For those of you familiar with Twitter, the answer is no surprise. It's an @ (usually pronounced mention in this context, and sometimes pronounced at). For the purposes of this post, let's define subtweet. The purest and "most correct" form of a subtweet is a passive aggressive tweet that doesn't mention the subtweetee's handle (by typing @ followed by a user name). This is up for debate, though many websites tell celebrities who explicitly name the target of their subtweets that they're doing it wrong.
There are memes in response to subtweets that all go something like this: "I guess your @ button must be broke." It turns out you can drop the word "button" from this sentence. In one example I found, a person positioned "hitting the @" as the opposite of subtweeting: “I don’t subtweet, I hit the @.”
@ has been lexicalized to the point where it can also be used as a verb. Here are some examples I found of this:
“Just @ someone if you’re going to reply to them with a subtweet so we can all be entertained”
“I don’t play that shit, you want to subtweet me BUT I WILL @ YOUR ASS.”
You can subtweet someone, or you can "@ their ass." These two concepts are in opposition, though when you step back it's all just a bunch of people hashing out issues over social media in a relatively public sphere. The true opposite of a subtweet is probably a constructive piece of criticism, given by a loved one to a willing listener in private—but @ is a lot more entertaining.
In @ news, Zayn Malik, in response to racist tweets from Azealia Banks, wrote the following:
Azealia Banks has since been suspended from Twitter for violating their terms of service.