New research from two McMaster University doctoral students appears to give credence to the stereotype of Canadians being more polite than Americans, at least when it comes to social media.
Daniel Schmidtke and Bryor Snefjella, both Ph. D candidates, studied more than three million tweets and found that Canadians on Twitter are far more pleasant than their American counterparts, who tend to use more vulgar and coarse language.
Positive terms like “great”, “amazing” and “beautiful” were peppered throughout the Canadian vernacular.
Negative words like “hate”, “hell,” “damn” and “ass”, were favoured by Americans, along with several other profanities and racial slurs that were blurred out in the researchers’ results.
“We could see the difference between the two countries’ tweets as soon as we created a word cloud,” said Schmidtke in a press release.
The study is among the first to use the social network to examine differences in English language use between two neighbouring countries.
The McMaster researchers also compared tweets from England and Scotland but found less surprising differences among the two countries.
English tweeters tended to use the word “small”, while those in Scotland used the word “wee.”
They found the “lexical border” where language is most similar is creeping further north, suggesting British usage is spreading into Scotland.