Geoffrey Chaucer invented 'twitter'

It's the 612th anniversary of the death of the famous author. Turns out, he invented the word many of us use commonly in social media today.

This final note today, which begins with the observation that this is the 612th anniversary of the death of Geoffrey Chaucer. He of "The Canterbury Tales," yes -- but so much more.

Including this: We learned via The Atlantic Wire today and the Twitter feed of the Oxford English Dictionary that among the words Chaucer is credited with coming up with is "twitter."

"To utter a succession of light tremulous notes," the OED says, "to chirp continuously."

So there you go.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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