Gator Grammar

Introducing Gator Grammar

The Concept

Gator Grammar is designed for polite, productive online political debate. It extends familiar Twitter grammar so that you can add your voice to conversation streams about candidates or topics.

Use Gator punctuation and syntax to:

  • Ask and answer questions
  • Make, clarify, or challenge claims about facts and values
  • Vote on issues at hand

Politics is about managed competition. The long-term goal is to invent rules for a game which is impeccably fair, massively scalable, and profoundly useful. Like any language, to use Gator Grammar is to create it. Manners matter.

Half the challenge of getting this to work involves getting people to tweet in Gator Grammar. Another half involves refining the rules of Gator Grammar to make it easy to use and understand. Yet another half involves building sytems to aggregrate and evaluate what's being said. And the are probably some other halves that haven't been added in yet.

The Structure

Each debate page at GatorDebater has two or more columns of hashtag-filtered tweets. These "Home Streams" are generally set up as competing partisans -- Republican/Democrat, Yes/No, Sanity/Fear... etc.

A separate Home Stream is usually dedicated to the general topic of the debate, unless there is a significant 3rd party or independent candidate.

For example, the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear has Home Streams for #RTRSF, #Rally4Sanity, and #March4Fear.

Here are some other Home Streams currently active at GatorDebater

  • #FLGOV Florida Governor
  • #FLSEN Florida Senate
  • #FL4 Florida Ballot Amendment 4

Starting Out

GatorDebater is intended to help prototyope an online demacratic-styled town hall. That's a big challenge, so it seems wise to start off by learning how to do relatively basic things such as cheering for your side and (politley) smacking down the other. These conventions in GatorGrammar explain how it's done.

# = Hashtag

Include the hashtag for a selected Home Stream to ensure the tweet appears in that stream. Good manners generally suggest tweeting into only one Home Stream at a time.

GT = GatorTweet

Proper Gator Grammar requires a GT in the tweet. Its position can add meaning. At the end it is like a period. In the middle it functions to separate clauses of ideas, taking the place of words such as and, because, therefore, etc. At the beginning it declares a connection back to the Tweeter's most prior tweet in that stream.

YT = YayTweet

Tweeting YT into a partisan stream signals a vote of support. For example, to be counted as a supporter of restoring sanity, tweet yt #Rally4Sanity gt. It's also possible to add an explanation to a YayTweet. For example, yt #Rally4Sanity gt Sanity is healthier than fear. Good manners suggest posting only one YayTweet per day, or per designated voting period.

NT = NayTweet

Tweeting NT into a partisan stream signals a vote of opposition. NayTweets follow the same syntax and manner guides as YayTweets, with some additions. For NayTweets, good manners suggest: 1) Post a YayTweet to the partisan stream being supported prior to posting the NayTweet to the one opposed; 2) Include an explanation after the GT. For example, nt #March4Fear gt Too much fear leads to nightmares day and night.

DT = DeTweet

A DeTweet signals denial or disapproval of someone else's tweet. It can take an @name, just like a ReTweet, but it also allows abbreviation down to the first part of the original tweet. DeTweets can be: 1) combined with counter-clauses, or; 2) followed by questions or counter arguments.

Gator Grammar 0.1

BTBetter Tweet
CTCroc Tweet
DTDe Tweet
FTFact Tweet
GTGator Tweet
HTHonorable Tweet
NTNay Tweet
PTPolicy Tweet
QTQuery Tweet
RTRe Tweet
STSworn Answer Tweet
TTTruth Tweet
VTValue Tweet
WTWise Tweet
YTYay Tweet