Thought Catalog
February 24, 2011

Koko, The “Talking” Gorilla

Report This Article
What is the issue?

TWITTER ACCOUNT (@kokotweets)

The Gorilla Foundation’s first Tweet (bit.ly link to a CNN Europe article about a gorilla named Jookie) happened 29 AUG 2009. As of 24 FEB 2011 The Gorilla Foundation’s Twitter account has 608 followers (the low number seems baffling to a degree that it seems somehow deliberate), 218 Tweets, and is on 48 lists.

Whomever controls Koko’s Twitter account seems impressively consistent, given the precariously complicated tone that has been employed via medium-frequent “scare quote” usage, a naïf-like “deadpan,” a consistently unpredictable usage of exclamation marks, an at-times grim-seeming detachment. There are no stock phrases, I think, and punctuation and formatting seem consistent—except some periods, arguably. The sentences are direct, concrete, and seem to trust that the reader will “get it.”

A Tweet with an exclamation mark seems unexpectedly—almost bleakly—exhilarating:

A Tweet without an exclamation mark seems ominous to grim:

Koko “purrs” in almost every Tweet she’s in:

Some Tweets are short, direct:

The first sentence of this Tweet provides context skillfully, I feel:

Some Tweets, in their focus on concrete description and avoidance of idiom, seem highly open to interpretation. These Tweets, for example, could be viewed as “disapproving”:

Some Tweets convey potentially complicated (for 140 characters) anecdotes deftly, with clarity and concision: