This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
To celebrate Allison Parrish’s achievement– getting her bot @everyword to complete its 7 year tour-de-force of tweeting every word in the English language in alphabetical order, every 30 minutes– this entry will briefly examine 12 bots inspired and followed by @everyword. If you’ve never heard of this, you may want to read this earlier entry in which I analyzed the bot from an e-poetic perspective. Here are some comments on the bots, in the order they appear in the list of bots followed by @everyword.
- @fuckeveryword – Every good work deserves a worthy parody. This bot mimics @everyword in every way, but adds “fuck” before each word. It must have a shorter dictionary, because it will be done fucking the English language by 2017.
- @everybrendan – This bot is supposedly “twittering every Brendan name in Project Gutenberg” but I’m not sure how that produces the output it tweets. (Update: it’s created by Leonard Richardson and documented here -thanks for the heads up, Tully)I suspect it’s as profoundly weird as this other project by Brendan Atkins.
- @everyletter – With a data set of 26 letters, this self explanatory bot completed its mission in about 3 minutes. It has 142 followers and has been retweeted and favorited extensively.
- @everycolorbot – This bot by Colin Bayer is tweets hourly a randomly selected color from the RGB color spectrum, which contains 16,777,216 different colors. It is a wonderful way to discover colors that we may not have precise names for, and it is developing an enthusiastic following.
- @languagepix – operates like @everyword, but also tweets the first image it finds on a Google Image search for that word. The word and picture pairings are generally illustrative, often surprising, and occasionally absurd.
- @tokiale – This bot clones @everyword but in Toki Pona.
- @everyarabicword – This bot implements @everyword in Arabic and should complete its task in 2019.
- ALL LEMMATA (@eveywilliwaw) – This bot by Liam Cooke already tweeted all 2600 words “consisting only of straight lines.” What a wonderful graphical constraint!
- @PowerVocabTweet – Allison Parrish describes this bot as “a procedural exploration in a genre I like to call ‘speculative lexicography’—basically, @everyword‘s dada cousin.” Follow it to enhance your vocabulary with nonsense words with plausible definitions.
- @everyunicode – Ramsey Nasser’s bot gives the @everyword treatment to every character in the Unicode 6.2 standard, which contains 1,114,112 characters and should take 63 years to complete. For a compressed expression of a similar context, see Jörg Piringer’s Unicode video.
- @defineeveryword – This bot by Mike Dory bravely attempted to define every word tweeted by @everyword until it broke on “urinalysis” on February 21, 2014.
- @iederwoord – John Schop’s Dutch version of @everyword.
There is something irresistible about a project with a clear beginning and an ending because we can build a narrative around it. As I write this entry, @everyword is tweeting away its last few words and every single one of them is retweeted, favorited, and replied to dozens of times. The excitement and suspense on what will be the last word is palpable and people are drawing connections between the word and the bot’s context.
You're ending with our beginnings, word. 🙁 RT @everyword: zygotic
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) June 7, 2014
But more important than the excitement of the moment is the inspiration that this simple bot has offered in carrying out its absurd, celebrated task. You know you’re on to something when you’re imitated, remixed, parodied, and extended.
Congratulations to Allison Parrish and @everyword for completing its task and thank you for the inspiration!