Twitter is an excellent forum for anyone learning how to write humor. With only 140 characters at your disposal on Twitter, you have no choice but to be brief, regardless of what you’re writing. That limited space can be daunting to a writer or comedian who is used to writing long set-ups before reaching the punch line.

Follows those Comedians

While one-liners are humorous, they are a different type of humor than traditional long jokes. As with any form of writing, studying what you intend to write is the first step. Search Twitter until you find comedians whose humor you admire, and study their one-liners. Then, study the one-liners of some lesser-known or unknown comedians. With such a mix, you will see what works and doesn’t work for one-liners. Of course, to write funny one-liners, you still need to understand some of the basics of humor (e.g. how the last few words or line are the punch line, how to use innuendo and puns, etc.). It also helps to pay attention to what’s happening in the news (from social and economic to entertainment and political events) as there are often a lot of opportunities there for humorous commentary. I like to follow a few comedians on Twitter such as That Everyday Guy, Women’s Humor, and Daniel Tosh. You can find other sources of one-liners on sites such Smart-Words.org and KickassHumor.com just by Googling “one-liners” or “funny one-liners,” though these may not stick to the 140 character limit required by Twitter.

Writing is Writing, No Matter the Form

As with any form of writing, once you understand the basics, you will need a notepad or journal where you can jot down your tweet ideas as they come to you. Then you will have to revise your tweets several times to perfect them to meet the 140-character limit and/or improve the comedic effect. If your tweet is over 140 characters, don’t panic and don’t erase or delete that tweet. Let it sit for a few days or weeks and in time you will likely find a way to shorten it without sacrificing the humor.

2 The Pt.

If you still can’t shorten the tweet, social convention has provided an ‘out’ for you on Twitter. You can abbreviate and intentionally misspell words to force your tweet to fit, without people thinking less of your writing or you. Proper grammar and spelling take a back seat to the 140 character rule on Twitter. Just keep in mind that while abbreviations such as BTW and 4 U are commonplace and understood by most people using Twitter, you don’t want to overcrowd your one-liners with too many abbreviations. BTW, write w/ TLC or no 1 will LOL. As you can see, too many abbreviations will slow your readers down, throwing them out of the joke as they focus on deciphering what you’re saying instead of focusing on the humor. While it doesn’t hurt to brush up on your twitter abbreviations or twitter slang, use these terms judiciously, and not at the sacrifice of your humor!

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