Sweet Tweet

    U of A Professor Marc Mackenzie dubs a tweet by Stephen Fry "the most beautiful Twitter message ever composed"

    August 27, 2010

    Actor Stephen Fry, the British thespian of Jeeves and Wooster fame, also has writing, producing and a long list of other film-related activities to his credit. Now he can add tweetmeister to his repertoire as he recently judged a contest — that he also spearheaded — to write “the most beautiful Twitter message ever composed.”

    U of A Professor of Medical Physics Marc MacKenzie, ’96 MSc, ’00 PhD, was judged to have said it best with: “I believe we can build a better world! Of course, it’ll take a whole lot of rock, water & dirt. Also, not sure where to put it.” For those who don’t know — or care — a single post to Twitter must contain no more than 140 characters.

    In total, MacKenzie submitted 35 tweets to Fry’s contest, held in conjunction with the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. As to why Fry picked this one for top prize over some of his more favourite tweets, MacKenzie says: “I think it resonated in terms of having a bit of a deeper underlying message. Maybe one of environmentalism, possibly with a twinge of cynicism and maybe just a reminder that this is really the only world we have.”

    MacKenzie can be found on Twitter @marcmack.

    Mackenzie’s other tweets included:

    “If you love someone, let them go. If they come back, they’re yours. If they don’t, they’re probably going to lay charges.”

    “I care deeply about the planet. I mean, for starters, it’s where I keep all my stuff.”

    “I’m comforted to know that, whatever else happens, I’ll always have my heavy drinking to fall back on.”

    His tweet success — he previously came fourth in a Canadian Twitter contest — has boosted his followers on Twitter from 157 to over 2,300. It’s also resulted in calls from major news outlets such as CBC, BBC and CNN. A recent tweet sums up his situation succinctly: “Distracted at work. Couldn’t call in sick — not honest. Can you call in famous? If so, do you only get 15 minutes off?”