'Mwitter' to replace Twitter in Turkey?
Only minutes after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to close down Twitter today, a new website was formed, either as a tribute from his followers or a mocking attempt from his critics: "Mwitter"
Erdoğan had earlier said in Turkish: "Twitter, mwitter kökünü kazıyacağız," translated into English as: "We’ll eradicate Twitter."
In colloquial Turkish, the "m" phrase cannot be translated easily into any language as it is not a regular lexical item. Its meaning (or the lack of meaning) depends on the intention of the speaker.
As one study explains:
"Semantically, reduplication with m-sound means 'and so on', 'such,' 'kind of,' 'sort of' depending on the meaning of the first part of the reduplicative form being ahead of m-insertion. [It] allows the speaker to give less than the amount of information requested, while still appearing cooperative. It indicates that the speaker does not wish to specify or elaborate, but instead appeals to the participant's common ground for inferring the intended meaning."
So, Erdoğan could have either meant that he would close down Twitter AND similar websites. Or perhaps, he just used the phrase "mwitter" in a semantically empty way.
Regardless, he sounded confident that his audience would understand him, and apparently at least one Internet user did. Somebody somewhere registered the domain mwitter.com in ironic tribute to Erdoğan, dubbed "the Master" by his followers. The only text on the website reads:
"Just tell us to close it down and we'll do it, Master. We're ready..."