Karen L Remigio

WRIT 2 – WP1
January 28,2016

Fruits and Genre
The word genre is a bit hard to describe, it’s like trying to describe what a fruit is with a
limitation of two fruits. Kerry Dirk explores the different meanings that the word genre may have
for his audience, and argues that the definition of genre has changed over time and that “genres
are now viewed as even more than repeating rhetorical situations.”(Dirk) This implies that
analyzing different rhetorical situations, like specific examples of writing genres, allows us
respond to a piece of text based on similar conventions we have encountered within those genres.
Twitter is a widely known social media, and as all social medias do nowadays, it is accompanied
by its less popular friend, terms of service. Although both cover the same topic of Twitter/Social
Media, their difference in content, audience and purpose makes it possible for a reader to
categorize them under two different writing genres, social media posts and terms of services.
A conventional twitter post is limited to 140 characters and it normally follows a flexible
grammatical structure. Most twitter posts are opinion based so you won’t necessarily find a work
cited page with each post. Take the Twitter profile of Emo Kylo Ren for example, people who
follow him will read tweets like “if we don’t resist the call of the light we’re no better than
moths”. This tweet illustrates how grammatical structures are optional in tweets, no one is going
to unfollow Emo Kylo Ren simply because he didn’t capitalize the first word and end the
statement with a period. The character limitation of twitter posts affects what the user posts. It
forcefully makes the user think about what is really important and unfortunately commas,
apostrophes, and correct spelling don’t always make the cut. Consequently, twitter posts are not
expected to consist of proper grammar or lengthy explanations and that’s okay because the
twitter universe is aware of the dreadful 140 character limitation.

Karen L Remigio
WRIT 2 – WP1
January 28,2016
Unlike twitter posts, the terms of service listed in a twitter page follow strict formatting
that requires proper grammar. For example the first sentence of the Twitter terms of service is
“These Terms of Service…govern your access to and use of our Services, including our various
websites, SMS, APIs, email notifications, applications, buttons, widgets, ads, commerce
services…, and our other covered services that link to these Terms…, and any information, text,
graphics, photos or other materials uploaded, downloaded or appearing on the Services...”
(Terms of Service) Clearly, these exceed 140 characters, and everything is written grammatically
correct, which makes sense because you wouldn’t want to read the terms of services, assuming
you read them, if they “w3r3 writ3n lyk d!z.” The sight of that gives you a headache. The terms
of service are organized in small paragraphs, all of which are labeled according to topic. This
makes digesting the information easier. The twitter terms of service is split up into twelve
distinct categories, all of which have labels like “Basic Terms, Privacy, Passwords” and so forth.
These labels allow readers to skim through the information and focus on what they may find
interesting or helpful. Although the terms of services are loaded with information, their
organization and syntax is designed to help the user read it with the least possible confusion.
Besides the actual content of tweets, all tweets are accompanied by a reply button, a
favorite button and a retweet button. These three buttons allow the audience to interact with the
user who posted the tweet. If you like something that another user posted you could press the star
button which would favorite the tweet. If you agree with someone’s tweet and wish to express it
to your followers as well, you would press the retweet button instead of being rude and copying
the user’s exact tweet. And if you want to give a response to a funny or controversial tweet, there
is also the option to reply directly to the user.

Karen L Remigio
WRIT 2 – WP1
January 28,2016
Unlike tweets, the terms of service are usually very plain looking, and they don’t have an
option that enables the reader to interact with the text. Although it may seem a bit unfair that you
aren’t given the option to interact with such fun information found in the terms and services, it
doesn’t necessarily surprise you because the content displayed is not something that one would
normally read for leisure. All a reader really needs is to be aware and understand the basics of
what services they are entitled to. The chances of the reader finding a statement that touches their
heart resulting in the inevitable urge to favorite or retweet it are very low, therefore these
unnecessary buttons are omitted.
Generally tweets are meant to target friends, family, or some sort of internet community.
For example, it is appropriate for Pope Francis to posts tweets like “Christians and Muslims are
brothers and sisters, and we must act as such”(Francis) because the majority of his followers are
somehow religiously affiliated. This tweet wouldn’t necessarily get a gazillion retweets had it
been posted by a profile like Emo Kylo Ren. It’s not to say that people who follow Emo Kylo
Ren are against these positive messages, it just wouldn’t be something they would expect to see
under Kylo Ren’s profile. The content of twitter posts can easily reflect on who the audience is.
For example, the tweet, “…c3po told me the chances of survival on my route to school were 725
to 1 and i shouted at him to shut up am i becoming my father” (Ren), clearly targets an audience
that has some knowledge of Star Wars, if it weren’t the case, the audience would not understand
the reference to C-3PO or his father. The user has to think of who his audience is before he
makes a tweet, otherwise their followers may lose interest.
Depending on who the target audience is, the purpose of each twitter profile is different.
The purpose of tweets is highly affected by who exactly follows that user. Emo Kylo Ren’s main

Karen L Remigio
WRIT 2 – WP1
January 28,2016
purpose would be to make people laugh and to enlighten them with knowledge about the dark
side. Pope Francis on the other hand would focus on sending positive messages about religion to
his followers, as well as insight to world problems that one could empathize with.
The Terms of Service of any social media are long articles that you are expected to agree
with before proceeding to use their services, in this case before creating your Twitter profile.
These articles tend to be very long so they are usually accessible via link, instead of having the
entirety of it posted on the registration page. How annoying, to think that you would have to read
every single word from the terms of service before clicking the small white box saying that you
agree with everything listed. The audience for this type of genre text is pretty obvious, given that
Twitter is the example, these terms of service wouldn’t be oriented to people who are trying to
see what their insurance policy includes. No, these terms of service are clearly oriented towards
those who are interested in what is included after signing up for a Twitter account, or in rare
cases, it is oriented towards college students who have to write an essay comparing different
writing genres.
Given the specific audience, it becomes simple to detail what the purpose of these long
formatted essays are. The terms of service are written in order to inform the twitter users what
they should expect from the services, as well as what they will be accountable for. They are also
written to clarify any misunderstanding that a new user may have. For example the statement
“Any information that you or other users provide to Twitter is subject to our Privacy Policy,
which governs our collection and use of your information.”(Terms of Service) This statement
was designed to clarify any misconceptions the user may have had about their privacy. The terms

Karen L Remigio
WRIT 2 – WP1
January 28,2016
of service are written in the most simplistic form because their aim is not to confuse their reader,
but to inform them with the least possible misunderstandings.
Conclusively, it is clear to see how these two genres differ in the types of contextual and
structural conventions that they use. These conventions are all dependent on the context, the
audience, and the purpose of the topic at hand. Even though it may be that same topic, looking at
the conventions of both twitter posts and the terms of service helps identify what makes each
genre their own. Breaking down the conventions in terms of the context, audience and purpose
makes highlighting the difference in convention much simpler. One cannot learn all the different
genres in the world, but by understanding the different conventions included, one can begin to
categorize writing texts into different categories known as genres. Similarly, if one is given a
multitude of fruits, one has a better chance of describing what a fruit is, as oppose to trying to
describe it with only two fruits as reference.

Karen L Remigio
WRIT 2 – WP1
January 28,2016

Work Cited
Dirk, Kerry. “Navigating Genres.” Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, 2010: page 252.
Francis, Pope (Pontifex) . “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters, and we must act as
such.” 30 Nov. 2015 1:00 a.m. Tweet.
Ren, Emo Kylo (KyloR3n) . “if we don’t resists rhe call of the light we’re no better than moths” 7
Jan. 2016, 8:04 p.m. Tweet.
Ren, Emo Kylo (KyloR3n) . “…c3po told me the chances of survival on my route to school were
725 to 1 and I shouted at him to shut up am I becoming my father” 25 Jan, 2016, 12:59 p.m.
Terms of Service. Retrieved January 18, 2016, from Google, Google search twitter terms of
service website, https://twitter.com/tos