Image via WikipediaFirst, let me say I love the verb "to tweak."
I like to use it when I advise students about improving their stories when they have the basic elements of reporting and writing covered but simply need to refine their approach, perhaps simply by the expedient of reading and revising the work one more time. To me it conveys a sense of "almost there," of the fact that I conclude the students know what to do if they will only take the time to do it.
It's not major surgery I have in mind. It's just the kind of marginal improvement that moves work from "B" to "A," that final step that -- like pornography -- is much easier to recognize than to define.
"Tweak it," I say.
I do understand the kids might not be getting my point. I knew "tweaking" was also related to meth use, and I've also heard it used in relation to computers, though I always assumed it retained the conventional connotation. But then I Googled it and got:
Definitions of tweak on the Web:
- pinch or squeeze sharply
- pluck: pull or pull out sharply; "pluck the flowers off the bush"
- fine-tune: adjust finely; "fine-tune the engine"
- pinch: a squeeze with the fingers
- Tweak is a graphical user interface (GUI) layer to the Squeak development environment, which in turn is an integrated development environment based on the Smalltalk-80 computer programming language. Tweak is meant to replace an earlier graphic user interface layer called Morphic.
- CrashCarBurn is an Powerpop/Rock band from South Africa. The band was formed in London in 2006 before returning to South Africa in early 2007.
- A sharp pinch or jerk; a twist or twitch; Trouble; distress; tweag; A slight adjustment or modification; A prostitute; To pinch and pull with a sudden jerk and twist; to twitch; To adjust slightly; to fine tune; To twit or tease; To abuse methamphetamines, especially crystal meth
- Tweaked is the fifth studio album and first independently released collection of new material by American rock band Enuff Z'nuff.
- Tweaking is a slang term for someone exhibiting OCD-like, compulsive, or repetitive behaviour, often making insignificantly small adjustments to things, while in a slightly agitated or confused state.
- Tweaking refers to fine-tuning or adjusting a complex system, usually an electronic device. Tweaks are any small modifications intended to improve ...
- tweaked - To be hallucinating, especially under influence of crystal meth or similar narcotics
- A minor change made in a scene or portion of a screenplay or a stageplay.
- tweaking - the process of moving individual vertices of 3D geometric object, such as a mesh or a TIN
- The term, “tweak” refers to small changes made in a computer, such as an adjustment, to try and make it function correctly or more efficiently
- Adjusting the position of parts in an assembly scene to avoid overlap in some views or to make some parts more visible.
Well, *some* of these definitions retain the sense I intend when I use the word, but I suppose I should start asking the kids what they see when I start casting word shadows on the wall, as it were.
Anyway, what I mean by the term "tweak" is to make a slight change with an eye to improvement, though this most recent change to the name of this blog was
Can you guess why? I'm serious. Really, can you guess why?
There's this definition.
Tweaker or Tweaking
It can mean different things to different people. It is one of those street terms, colloquialisms, that has a number of generic definitions.
Some common ones include but are not limited to:
Repeated rapid movements usually accomplishing very little.
A meth user.
A meth user feeling the effects of meth.
Tweaking is a feeling like an obsession to do things requiring fine motor movements.
Some tweakers take things apart, like VCR’s, Computers, and Motorcycles etc.
Some tweakers get into doing projects like cleaning the bathroom and end up deciding to tear all the tile out and re-tile the entire room, but never finish the project.
Masturbation is a very common tweaker activity - repeating a movement over and over again.
Tweaking can also be jaw clenching and teeth grinding, Meth users often have bad dental health.
Things that require very little mental analysis or intelligence, but a lot of meaningless movement. Washing dishes, Computer games, making projects that never work and never get completed. Taping duct tape, aluminum foil on windows. Crawling in the carpets and rugs looking for dropped dope. Some tweakers pick at their skin. Some women spend hours combing and brushing their hair.
Some tweaker jokes;
How can you tell a tweaker in the supermarket? A. He has the shopping cart turned upside down and he’s trying to fix the wheels.
What does the tweaker girl say when she is at her normies friend’s house and it’s getting late? A. “You just go ahead, go to bed and get some sleep and I’ll finish cleaning your house.”