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12 Great Tweets From the Oddly Delightful @NYTMinusContext Twitter Account

Taken Out of Context? Yes -- That's the Point

By Published on .

It's official: @NYTMinusContext is my favorite meta-media obsession since @Vice_Is_Hip. Except that, unlike @Vice_Is_Hip, @NYTMinusContext is not a parody account. Per its description:

All Tweets Verbatim From New York Times Content. Not Affiliated with New York Times. Follow @NYTPlusContext for context.

It is what it is: a steady stream of sometimes telling, sometimes inscrutable little snippets taken directly from our nation's newspaper of record. Like this, from last night:

What's the appeal? Partly media-world navel-gazing: @NYTMinusContext counts hundreds of journalists among its followers (which recently hit the 10K mark), including The Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Ballhaus, The Washington Post's Jeff Simon, Gawker's John Cook, The Hollywood Reporter's Eriq Gardner and Slate's Mark Joseph Stern, not to mention a good number of Timesfolk, including Adam Sternbergh, Ariel Kaminer, Sarah Lyall, David Joachim, Julie Bloom and Tanzina Vega.

But even if you're not a journalist, @NYTMinusContext offers plenty of droll entertainment value.

Sometimes @NYTMinusContext tweets are delightfully and unexpectedly evocative, like:

(I noticed that after I retweeted that last week, New York Times tech columnist Nick Bilton -- who may or may not feel that he fits the description -- retweeted my retweet.)

Sometimes @NYTMinusContext zeroes in on a particular out-of-left-field phrase in one of its local-color reports:

(I actually guessed what that was about, because I've stayed at the former Peabody Hotel in Memphis.)

Sometimes @NYTMinusContext serves up a phrase that was actually meant to make you laugh:

Sometimes @NYTMinusContext trolls you into thinking that it's calling out a bit of the paper's trying-too-hard trend reporting, like this:

(That actually comes from a serious report titled "Daunting Calculus for Maine Shrimpers as Entire Season Is Lost.")

And sometimes a phrase just, you know, feels right when it's disassociated from its context:

Yes, there are other Times-obsessed Twitter accounts that focus on the Old Gray Lady's pretentions and quirks -- see The Times Is On It (@NYTOnIt) and Prepositional Lady (@NYTPrepositions), for instance -- but if you want regular doses of surrealism grounded in honest-to-god journalism, follow @NYTMinusContext.

Meanwhile, six more recent tweets for good measure:

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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