How to Write like Mark Zuckerberg

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The early candidate for weird Facebook lawsuit of the year took another turn this morning, when representatives for the social network discredited Paul Ceglia’s alleged e-mail exchange with Mark Zuckerberg as fake. A sham. A forgery. You get the idea.

As you’ll recall, Mr. Ceglia is the wood pellet salesman from upstate New York who claims that half of Zuck’s stake in Facebook – you know, just $13.5 billion – actually belongs to him, per an agreement reportedly made back in 2003.

(More on Mark Zuckerberg – Person of the Year 2010)

But Facebook brought the hammer down last week, highlighting Mr. Ceglia’s history of fraud and calling him some not-so-nice things, like (earmuffs kids) an “inveterate scam artist.”

However, one of the case’s more interesting subplots saw Facebook call in a linguistics expert to compare Mr. Ceglia’s alleged e-mails with e-mails confirmed to have been written by Zuck himself.

Gerald R. McMenamin, the Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at California State University, Fresno, compared 11 of the alleged excerpts with 35 e-mails written by real Zuckerberg, to discern the subtle tics that make Zuck, well, Zuck.

Here are a few of the findings (see the full document here) which you can use to write like Facebook’s billionaire creator yourself!


A) Questionable Zuckerberg writes:

“doesnt,” “parents” (parents’), “sites” (site’s = contraction for “site is”), and “sites” (site’s = possessive)

B) Real Zuckerberg’s contractions and possessives are all used correctly. So there’s that.

Suspension Points

A) Questionable Zuckerberg writes:

“. . . I’ve been tweaking the search engine today,” with spaces in between his suspension points.

B) Real Zuckerberg doesn’t space out his suspension points. For example: “So let me know…”


A) Questionable Zuckerberg writes these words as follows:

“back end” (two words), “internet” (lower case “I”), and “can not” (two words)

B) Real Zuckerberg writes:

“backend” (one word), “Internet” (capital “i”), and “cannot” (one word)

Syntax: Single-Word Sentence Openers

A) Questionable Zuckerberg opens his sentences with the following:

Mostly though,

B) Real Zuckerberg opens his sentences more casually:

But regardless

Signing Off

A) Questionable Zuckerberg closes his e-mails with “Thanks!”

B) Real Zuckberg, however, also closes his e-mails with “Thanks!”

So there you have it. Now you, too, can mimic Mark Zuckerberg’s e-mail writing habits, something like:

“Okay I cannot eat animals unless I kill them myself… Anyhow, the Internet’s weird, bro. Thanks!”

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