The Twitter divide

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Canadians are more polite on Twitter, Americans more negative — study looked at 40M tweets

It seems the stereotype that Canadians tend to be more positive and polite than Americans is true — at least when it comes to language use on Twitter. Sorry!

A new study published by McMaster University researchers Wednesday analyzed nearly 40 million tweets from both countries including some from Donald Trump around the time of his campaign to become the Republican nominee for president.

While the team found the vast majority (99.66 per cent) of words, emojis and emoticons were not drastically different, a list of words which were typed out most disproportionately by Twitter users in Canada and our neighbours to the south shows a distinct difference in tone.

After compiling lists of those words the linguistics experts had study participants evaluate the words and determine what they think the personality of the person who used them would be.

Maybe ... being Canadian is something we do and one way we do it is through our language choices.

- Bryor Snefjella , linguistics expert

The result? National stereotypes seem to be connected — at least in part— to the words people use online. Researchers found Canadians tend to be nice, while Americans are more negative and assertive.

"What you get back out of that is a really, really accurate recreation of the national character stereotypes," explained Bryor Snefjella, a PhD candidate in the school's department of linguistics and languages and lead author of the study.

"Canadians say 'great,' 'amazing,' 'good,' he explained. "There are lots of things about sports, 'team,' 'game,' 'awesome' … 'Leafs' gets in there, 'Habs' does too."
The researchers created word clouds of their findings to highlight some of the words, emoticons and emojis Canadians use more than Americans. (Bryor Snefjella and Daniel Schmidtke)

But across the U.S. border, the words used take a turn.

"You're talking about words like 'hate,' lots of slang, 'bro,' 'brah' and net-speak. 'Hurt' comes out as an American word, lots of negative, bad stuff and lots of words you wouldn't want to say in front of your grandma."

The more you know
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more polite trolling is still trolling, and there's plenty of that in canadian twitter believe me
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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Americans are uncouth individuals...DUH!!!! EXCUUUUSE ME!
Metacell posted:
Americans are uncouth individuals...DUH!!!! EXCUUUUSE ME!

Save it for Twitter!
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The Twitter divide