Facebook To Tweak Status Updates

    November 20, 2007

Compared to anything you’ll see coming from the BBC or CNN, this is admittedly a pretty minor piece of news.  Yet it’s nonetheless nice to hear that Facebook plans to drop the word “is” from its users’ status updates.

I logged onto Facebook to grab an example of the bad grammar that has resulted from the mandatory inclusion of “is,” and as it turns out, most of my friends have done a good job of adapting to the word’s presence.  So, just to make up an example, a person might get stuck saying “Joe is didn’t like the movie.”


“Joe didn’t like the movie” will soon become an option, though, according to Nick O’Neill.  Note that the third person mode of speech has stuck around – Joe can’t yet write “I didn’t like the movie” – but Facebook may have pleased a lot of people with this one small adjustment.

Heck, the BBC and CNN might even want to take note; at the moment, a group called “Petition to Get Rid of ‘is’ from Facebook Status Update!” has exactly 164,069 members, and I’ve seen groups protesting genocide and such things with much smaller tallies.

Although Facebook may still do very odd and possibly illegal things with users’ data, at least the social network is paying some attention to proper grammar.