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Twitter is celebrating someone named ‘Martian Luther King’ today

A historic occasion veers toward science fiction.


Miles Klee

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 20, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 8:52 pm CDT

Another week, another endemic spelling problem on Twitter: as the Internet marked the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, countless people instead chose to honor “Martian Luther King,” a relatively unsung extraterrestrial who dreamed of uniting the solar system in social harmony.

God bless @fansince09, master of the Twitter term search

— daveweigel (@daveweigel) January 20, 2014

@daveweigel @FanSince09 maybe not just a world holiday but a holiday for the entire galaxy.

— SB (@TheSecondSingle) January 20, 2014

The error has the tendency to undermine otherwise serious posts.

It’s Martian Luther King Day and we still have black on black violence

— ✈Justin Johnson ✈™ (@HeyBuddyItsJJ) January 20, 2014

Martian Luther King Jr. is a constant source of inspiration.

— omniscient yawn (@edgarallentoe) January 20, 2014

I went to the place where Martian Luther King Jr got shot this summer. Seriously feels like ur apart of history

— Jose Tirado (@JTIRADO_13) January 20, 2014

King’s first name isn’t the only one routinely mangled, however—religious confusion also abounds.

My co-worker asked me to make sure we had a display of books for “Martin Lutheran King Day”. I thought I misheard, but she said it 3 times..

— Cara B. (@carabeein) January 19, 2014

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.” Martin Lutheran King

— Kande Flowers (@kande_flowers) January 20, 2014

63 %of blacks r out of jobs Democrates r really taking care of u Martin Lutheran king would be upset on what the dem r doing to u #tcot

— joyce (@grandma43) January 19, 2014

There’s really no accounting for this message, however (aside from the obvious goofs, there’s the fact that King’s birthday is January 15, and his holiday falls on a different date each year):

Happy Birthday to Marvin Luther and King Jr!

— Read Peat & Mak (@ReadPeatMak) January 20, 2014

Elsewhere today, Joe Mande has been retweeting the most tone-deaf corporate posts that name-check MLK, but it’s good to know that just like social media interns, average people don’t think twice before exposing their ignorance or misunderstanding of history. Free at last!   

A dude at a coffee shop this morning told me he is having ‘Martini Luther King Day’ to celebrate. This dude was obviously white.

— Zach Stafford (@ZachStafford) January 20, 2014

Photo by J.Gabás Esteban/Flickr

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*First Published: Jan 20, 2014, 3:54 pm CST