I know it’s not Audience Participation Friday yet, but I’ve got this Audience Participation Friday all planned out, and something else came up that needs discussing by the readers of Jonathan-Rogers.com, so this week we’re going to have an Audience Participation Thursday AND an Audience Participation Friday.
I get the twitter feed for the Library of Congress (unfortunately, it’s not as exciting as it sounds). There was a most unusual tweet from the LOC yesterday. It went like this: “The Madison Bldg. has been evacuated after smoke was smelled. Will update.” First, let me say that a later tweet said that the smell was traced to an air handler in the HVAC system. So all is well. But I was a little startled by that phrase “smoke was smelled.” One of the most awkward passive constructions you’re liable to see.
But I’d rather light a candle than curse the Library of Congress’s darkness. So here’s our warm-up discussion question: what should the LOC twitterer have said instead? I appreciate the fact that the twitterer was using sensory language; smoke wasn’t detected, but smelled. And we wouldn’t expect the tweet to say “Joe Wilson smelled smoke in the Madison Building.” So, put yourself in the shoes of the Library of Congress intern (don’t you figure it’s an intern?) who’s in charge of the Twitter feed. How would you have told the Twittersphere the alarming news that everybody was sent screaming from the Madison Building on account of fire? Remember, you only get 140 characters.
Bonus Warmup: For Audience Participation Friday, you’ll be telling more of the story of the girl we left crying in the Subway sandwich shop a couple of weeks ago. What was she crying about? What happened next? I’m giving you a heads up so you’ll have some time to think on it.