@Everyword, the quirky Twitter bot/conceptual art project that has delighted and amused more than 100,000 Twitter followers for seven years, tweeted its last word over the weekend … just as its creator, Adam Parrish, told us it would.
But the bot, which claimed to alphabetically tweet every word in the English language, ended neither in English nor on the letter “z.” Its last word was “étui.” As in “a small ornamental case for holding needles, cosmetics, and other articles,” originally from the French. Needless to say, a number of dedicated followers were both bewildered and displeased.
@everyword stop it please— epikrika8332 (@epikrika8332) June 7, 2014
@everyword Worst second ending since ″Edge of Tomorrow.”— Jason W (@J2XL) June 7, 2014
Just let it go, man. RT @everyword: étui— Brett LoGiurato (@BrettLoGiurato) June 7, 2014
But maybe that curveball wasn’t particularly surprising coming from Parrish, who, like many artists, is something of a provocateur. @Everyword has, for instance, previously taken a lot of Twitter flack for tweeting words that aren’t — which Parrish batted aside as implicit satire, a commentary on the language’s lack of authoritative canon.
trueloves— everyword (@everyword) December 1, 2013
superbest— everyword (@everyword) July 26, 2013
So it’s fitting that the account ended with the arch, somewhat condescending explanation from Parrish that he was trying to teach a lesson about “the arbitrariness of alphabetization” — though it seems far more likely that the whole thing was some kind of a seven-year joke on his fans. For what it’s worth, the last alphabetic word the account tweeted (i.e., the word that should’ve been @everyword’s last, if the universe made sense) was zymurgy, the science and study of fermentation.
In either case, some great/weird stuff has come out of @everyword’s end — into the vacuum left by Twitter’s most popular art bot, tribute bots such as @everywordNYT (which tweets headlines from the New York Times, minus any words not on @everyword’s list) and @blank_was_blank (which tweets nonsense ad-libs filled with @everywords) have followed.
An Life, Lived in Shadows http://t.co/G7ztunLS1q— everywordNYT (@everywordNYT) June 9, 2014
His precedent was implied, like an unhustling shelf— Her ___ was ___ (@blank_was_blank) June 9, 2014
Parrish wrote on his blog that after a brief break and some behind-the-scenes tune-ups, @everyword will begin tweeting through its list again. In the meantime, Twitter has no shortage of other entertaining, if less instructive, bots. My current favorite is @streetsnsheets, which changes its source data set periodically. It’s currently on TV shows.
Scandal Season 4 in the streets, Dexter Season 8 in the sheets— In The Streets (@streetsnsheets) June 9, 2014
And if you’re intrigued, there’s much more on art bots and creative computing in our @everyword pre-mortem.