Hot Twitter Account Is ... in Latin

Pope's Latin Twitter account is surprisingly popular

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 19, 2013 8:15 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Latin may be a dead language, but it's very much alive on Twitter, thanks to an unexpectedly social-media-savvy old man: the pope. Pope Francis' Latin language Twitter account began under the auspices of Pope Benedict in January (it is the official language of the Holy See, after all), and under Francis' watch has now grown to more than 100,000 followers, NPR reports. At 112,795 followers (as of printing), the Latin feed has more followers than his Polish, German, and Arabic accounts.

Latin is a particularly succinct language, making it easy to condense long thoughts into short sentences. The Vatican originally expected only 5,000 followers, but learned a valuable lesson: Never underestimate the enthusiasm of language nerds. "The surprise is that nerds are in all walks of life—cab drivers from South Africa, homemakers, journalists," says a language expert at the Vatican's Latin Office. Now, when can we expect the ancient Aramaic account to launch?

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