Canadians nicer than Americans on Twitter: Study

Toronto, Jan 10 (IANS) In a first, two linguists from a Canadian university, through a study of millions of tweets, found that Canadians are polite while Americans are rude on social media.

Two doctoral candidates — Daniel Schmidtke and Bryor Snefjella — from McMaster University in Canadian province of Ontario studied millions of tweets on social media website Twitter and found that Canadians on the website are more polite and pleasant than their American counterparts, who tend to use more coarse language.

The study said that terms like “great”, “amazing” and “favourite” disproportionately appeared in Canadian posts while Americans’ tweets had words like “hate”, “hell”, “annoying” and they include a host of curse words, off-colour slang and even a racial slur.

“We could see the difference between the two countries’ tweets as soon as we created a word cloud of the findings,” says Schmidtke, who conducted the research in McMaster’s Sherman Centre.

The pair also compared tweets from England and Scotland and discovered Scots were enthusiastic embracers of social media vocabulary. For example, Britons tended to use the word “small”, while the Scots used the word “wee”, the study said.

The researchers also found that the “lexical border”, where language is the most similar, has crept north of the actual border between England and Scotland.

“It suggests that the English way of writing and saying things is spreading into Scotland,” Schmidtke said.

Many words favoured by Americans on Twitter were deemed not fit for publication by the study’s authors.

The study was published in McMaster University journal Daily News.


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