A tweet of a student organization of the University of Santo Tomas shows why flowery language is not always effective in conveying messages online.
The UST Central Student Council congratulated the UST Growling Tigers on Twitter for their victory against the UP Fighting Maroons with a score of 68-65 at the Mall of Asia on November 13.
In doing so, it wrote what others call “purple prose.”
The tweet goes:
“Even tides stirred differently by a hair at 1st half, the UST Growling Tigers belabored doubts and vanquish whilom finals candidate, UP Fighting Maroons, as they invoked a 68-65-coup to flip the script to a future finale matchup.”
Prior to this, the organization also made a similar tweet about the win.
“Shifted tones at halfway inning by a back-and-forth offensive setting, the UST Growling Tigers cracked the elusive upper podium capper as they raze UP Fighting Maroons’ advantage.”
The cynical dwellers of Twitter expectedly found that the group used unnecessary words to describe the event. They argued that the tweets were an abuse of the thesaurus possibly written by literature students.
Lit major: sheesh sports writing is too easy
Also lit major: https://t.co/ZYSHn5b7hw
— Editors of Manila 天安门广场 🇨🇳 (@edsMNL) November 14, 2019
However, the writing which can be considered as purple prose is inappropriate for the occasion.
Purple prose is a phrase coined years ago to refer to a form of prose patched with “purple phrases” to make it appear pretty.
“Purple prose is flowery language that doesn’t help your reader understand your point, but it sounds so pretty. It’s extravagant and showy, but it’s purely self-indulgent. You feel like an artist when you write it, but your readers will notice a mile away when you’re using big words to impress them,” an article from Pro Writing Aid noted.
Purple prose often sacrifices the clarity of the message, another writer said, therefore, not usually recommended in most written works.
“Purple prose is like showing up in stilettos to go on a hike. The language doesn’t match the occasion or the character. It draws attention to itself. It doesn’t advance the action, clarify the plot, or reveal a character’s intentions or thoughts,” Lucille Moncrief wrote.
While the tweet came from the account of a student council and not a news publication, such a language is not recommended in reporting about events or journalism, the Center Journalism Review stated. There are exceptions, of course, since big words are sometimes used in reports if they tend to be more accurate.
“A journalist’s job is to inform, and information will not come through if the audience doesn’t understand the words,” Merrill Perlman wrote.
How Thomasians celebrated
The Tigers ousted the Maroons to earn the right to face the Ateneo Blue Eagles, the defending champion, for the finals of the Season 82 UAAP men’s basketball.
Coach Aldin Ayo stressed that celebrating this achievement is all right, but the Growling Tigers should focus on the next game, that is, against the Blue Eagles.
“Some of the coaching staff were crying, even my wife was crying, but I told her, sabi ko mommy wala pa tayo na-aachieve eh. So we have to refocus and prepare for out next game,” Ayo said.
The best-out-of-three finals series between the Growling Tigers and the Blue Eagles will start on November 16, Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Students were seen in a video cheering along the tune of the “Eye of the Tiger” rendered by the UST Wind Orchestra members as part of their mini celebration.
UST Wind Orchestra members play “Eye of the Tiger” on their way to Plaza Mayor, celebrating UST’s victory over UP and return to the UAAP finals, as students chant: “Walang pasok!”
Posted by The Varsitarian on Wednesday, November 13, 2019
The Varsitarian, the official student publication of UST, reposted a two-year-old tweet by its University of the Philippines counterpart, the Philippine Collegian as a witty clapback.
— The Varsitarian (@varsitarianust) November 13, 2019