These Twitter Romance Novels Capture Love In Five Words (Sort Of)

"She used the Oxford comma."

Can love be captured in just five words? The whole sweeping, passionate arc of a romance novel? Twitter users think so! Well, sort of.

In the trending hashtag #My5WordRomanceNovel, tweeters have been composing super-succinct flash stories that capture a love story. For some, that looks sentimental or desolate; for others, it looks like "let's order another large pizza." In fact, many of the stories from the hashtag game lean tongue-in-cheek rather than earnest. It's pretty tough, it seems, to convey epic ardor spanning decades via just five words.

The classic several-word story challenge is often traced back to Ernest Hemingway's legendary (and contested) six-word heartbreaker, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." This construct allows one whole word more than the #My5WordRomanceNovel game -- that's another 20 percent of storytelling time.

In the five-word romance version, things must be snappier, though not all participants handled the loss of that word with aplomb:

Brands being brands, of course, corporate accounts hopped on this hashtag like their businesses were at stake. From Qdoba ("You and Me. Qdoba. Forever.") to Peanut Butter & Co. ("Peanut butter and jelly sandwich") to Bruegger's Bagels ("Us. Together. Forever. With bagels.") to the more tenuously linked brands (has anyone ever fallen in love in a way that involved homeowner's insurance, protein powder, or Zippo lighters?), corporate Twitter handlers know one thing everyone else on the social media site should: Hashtag games are a delightful way to challenge yourself as a writer and to discover cool new people to follow. And of course (duh), to get cool new people to follow you.

Plus, this magazine's Twitter maven might have found the most romantic five words in the English language:

Here are more of our favorite five-word romance novels -- contribute your own in the comments or on Twitter!



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