The battle to curb pretend information and faux accounts has swerved right into a linguistic debate over the that means of tosh.
“What does a tosh seem like?” Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday in reply to a British authorities minister who appealed to him to intervene after a false declare that he had resigned.
An e mail masquerading as an official Northern Eire Workplace account was despatched to newspapers on Wednesday night time asserting that Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Eire secretary, had resigned.
“I’ve had the honour of serving as secretary of state for Northern Eire; nonetheless, as a consequence of private causes I’m stepping down from my position,” it learn.
Earlier on Wednesday Heaton-Harris delayed calling an election in Northern Eire, a U-turn from earlier vows to name a ballot, which has dented his credibility.
The Northern Eire Workplace issued a swift assertion saying the resignation declare was false. Heaton-Harris adopted up along with his personal rebuttal.
“That is completely unfaithful. I hope certainly one of @elonmusk first strikes is to eradicate pretend information on Twitter … Very thrilling I do know, however full and utter tosh.”
Musk, who purchased Twitter final month, replied along with his question about what a tosh was. It gained 2,000 likes in two hours.
Twitter customers had been left to guess if Musk was mocking the minister, cracking an offbeat joke or genuinely inquiring in regards to the phrase’s that means.
The Concise Oxford dictionary says tosh is a noun from casual British English denoting “garbage; nonsense”, of unknown Nineteenth-century origin. The Oxford Learner’s on-line dictionary says it refers to “concepts, statements or beliefs that you just suppose are foolish or not true”.
The Collins dictionary says tosh has a further that means in American English that means “neat; tidy”, or as a transitive verb that means “to make neat or tidy”.
Musk grew up in South Africa earlier than shifting to Canada and the US.
After Musk’s enigmatic reply to Heaton-Harris, Twitter customers supplied their very own definitions. “A barely grittier type of piffle. Not dissimilar to hogwash,” stated one. “Similar to a codswallop,” stated one other. One posted an image of the Scottish footballer Tosh McKinlay.
A parody account known as “Chris no-Heaton-Harris”, which provides a moustache to the minister’s photograph, responded to Musk. “Good day Elon! Listened in in your Twitter Area yesterday. Fascinating stuff.”
Different Twitter customers famous that Musk doesn’t management e mail and urged the minister to tweet much less and focus extra on the day job in Northern Eire. “How would anybody truly discover in case you’d resigned?” stated one.