You might be getting going on twitter because your friends use it, because your employer has requested that you do, because you intend to advertise your business, or just because you want to work out what all the publicity is about. But regardless of the rationale, when you first sign-up, it can look as though there is something of a learning curve when you start seeing the first tweets in your tweetstream.It can certainly look confusing – @, RT, #, hashtags, tweet-ups, trending topics – what ARE these things? Well, in this post I am going to reveal it all.The vast majority of these twitter abbreviations stem from the well-known fact that whenever you post on twitter, it has to contain lower than 140 characters. It is for that reason that space is at a premium, so there simply is not space, in many tweets, to add "for the attention of…" or "I’m speaking about…".Twitter Slang [email protected] – pronounced ‘at’, this is going to be recognizable from e-mails. On twitter, it is used as a way to direct a person’s interest to your tweet. Therefore if you wish to send a tweet directly to Ashton Kutcher, you begin it with @aplusk Receiving a tweet with @ ahead of your user name means that it will show up in the "@mentions" column on the twitter web-site, or in whichever twitter programme you use. Likewise, when you utilize @, the individual whose name follows it is not as likely to overlook it because it will turn up in their ‘mentions’ column as well.RT – an abbreviation of ‘retweet’. A retweet is when you notice a tweet that is so good, you wish to share it with your own followers too. Unspoken twitter etiquette means that it is unacceptable to just copy and paste it, rather, always retweet it to credit the original tweeter. You do this by, if you are retweeting Bill Cosby, you begin it with RT @billcosby, and then the original tweet. These days, the kind of RT that I have just discussed is known as an "old retweet". This refers to the fact that those who use twitter from the site can not any longer retweet posts in that way. Now the only retweets available are the "new retweets", where you have no possibility to add your own words or comments to the start. The majority of the twitter software package that exists will give you both possibilities, and even a newer "new retweet" which, ironically, is similar to an old RT but as opposed to beginning with RT @billcosby, it puts Bill’s whole tweet between quotation marks.As a result of the structure of the retweet, including the @ from the original tweeter, every retweet will appear in their @mentions column for each and every retweet they get. So, if anyone retweets your tweets, you can find out by looking at your own @mentions column.# – a hashtag. This is used on twitter as a shortened way of stating "what I am speaking about is…". So, a tweet might read "This is so comical! #frasier" or "Take a look at our latest offers #cupcakes #baking". Tweet-up – A tweet-up is when individuals who met on twitter get together in the real world. Trending topics – When hundreds or thousands of people on twitter are all talking about the exact same thing – frequently a TV programme or a breaking news story – it can become a trending topic. These are showcased in the right hand column on the twitter web site, usually in the form of hashtags. So with these essentials, you’ll be able to now go forth and start out using twitter without dread!