Donald Trump led off on Twitter Friday morning with a series of uncharacteristic misspellings.
Winning debate polls was a “great honer!” he tweeted. “Leightweight chocker” Marco Rubio looks like a little boy, he tweeted. Very strange for an account that rarely misspells anything and, as we’ve reported, is usually dictated to Trump aides.
Now, Twitter is wondering how and why those mistakes took place. Were they a Trump strategy to throw attention off Marco Rubio’s stronger debate performance Thursday night? Or merely a series of slip-ups after a long night in Houston?
The tweets took off like wildfire, generating chatter and memes across the social network. Here’s a real-time look at mentions of Donald Trump on Twitter. As of Friday morning, “chocker” and “leightweight” had a prominent place:
Special appearance by "chocker" and "leightweight" too. pic.twitter.com/5zZCYMVvWx
— Matthias Reynolds (@RealMReynolds) February 26, 2016
Even Merriam-Webster was inclined to weigh in:
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) February 26, 2016
By late morning, the evidence was gone from Trump’s account, where he deleted and reposted those tweets with proper spelling:
Donald Trump had to delete his misspelled tweets and send new ones. Sad! pic.twitter.com/zC0mAOQdOp
— Dan Eggen (@DanEggenWPost) February 26, 2016
Of course, jokes and theories about the mistakes are still building. Here’s some reaction from in and outside the political world:
Do they teach spelling at Trump University? https://t.co/Mbra2rMpEQ
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 26, 2016
So Trump's serial spelling, um, honers this morning were intended to troll us, yes?
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) February 26, 2016
typos on twitter?! now i've heard evrything!
— E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcSan) February 26, 2016
Based on my copious mail from the right — "Comunist", "Lier" etc. — Rubio is making a big mistake mocking Trump for bad spelling.
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) February 26, 2016
The people voting for Trump because they think he will fight for their jobs & protect them from ISIS don't care about his spelling errors.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 26, 2016
Your spelling is not presidential material, Puppy. Eh, doesn't matter none of your voters will notice https://t.co/UDD4LLWO3I
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) February 26, 2016
Spelling Bee champ throws shade at Trump: "I've been spelling those right since kindergarten, but that's just me." https://t.co/sQ2amRe4Bj
— Louis Nelson (@louisjnelson) February 26, 2016
Trump’s typos are like chaff throwing off a heat-seeking missile. He wants everyone to talk about them, not Trump U, etc.
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) February 26, 2016
I've believed for several months that Trump (and minions) intentionally misspell tweets just to get more RT/MTs. https://t.co/6piFELb6YQ
— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) February 26, 2016
Bonus: the mistakes brought new life to the #TrumpMovies hashtag: