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:
actual people want to be in an actual room having actual sex— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 15, 2014
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:
bearded, skinny-suited tech jerks— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 11, 2014
(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:
mallard-size penthouse— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 14, 2014
(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:
cheese makers with alternative grooming habits— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 15, 2014
Sometimes @NYTMinusContext trolls you into thinking that it's calling out a bit of the paper's trying-too-hard trend reporting, like this:
shrimp's making a comeback— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 12, 2014
(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:
emoticons banging their head against the wall— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 12, 2014
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:
it's hard to find a proper soupe á l'oignon in Paris— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 5, 2014
men aren't supposed to be happy— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 10, 2014
women against sadness— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 6, 2014
Shia LaBeouf plays the young man who deflowers her— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 9, 2014
Red Bull boasts of being gluten-free. So is paint thinner.— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 7, 2014
imaginary cake— NYT Minus Context (@NYTMinusContext) January 6, 2014
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.
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