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5 Ways to Say Earthquake

08/23/2011
A Toyota Prius hybrid taxi in New York City.

Image via Wikipedia

There it was on the screen

Earthquake

I reached past my lunch to my mouse and my table rumbled. Instinctively, I tweeted:

Well, the rest is history. OK, here’s the embarassing part

Within minutes, a tribe had formed around an experience. At the time of this posting, the expression has codified to read:

Earthquake in NYC


How did this happen? #earthquake and #NYC, in a few iterations becomes a common shared expression. It even has its local expressions, from the epicenter in Virginia to DC, Pennsylvania and upstate NY.

We know, instinctively what the answer is. Humans are tribal by nature. We seek the simplest expressions that have the broadest meanings. Either to include the greatest mass of people — as disasters show us. At the other extreme, the expression becomes a code, a password, designed to exclude all but the smallest, most elite numbers.
By rush hour, the experience was codified, shared and started to set with the sun.
http://twitter.com/#!/itsmejezzel/status/106144426249814018

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