We all know the age-old stereotype about Canadians being way too friendly and happy. We know it, Americans know it, even Europeans comment on our niceness.
TL;DR Linguistic experts from McMaster University analyzed millions of Tweets from Americans and Canadians. The result showed Canadians use much more friendly-sounding words than Americans, who, on the other hand, used more slang and negative emotion words. The findings suggests that Canadians are "happier" and, by extension, nicer than Americans.
That said, when it comes to actually validating these stereotypes, it's incredibly difficult – scientifically speaking, of course.
How can researchers possibly quantify something as vague as the concept of "friendliness?"
Well, a report by CTV shows linguistic experts from McMaster University tried to take a stab at it using word analysis.
By analysing 37 million tweets from both countries, researchers were able to spot some trends and recurring themes in the way Americans and Canadians express themselves.
In Canada, common words included "great," "new," "well," "good," "coffee," "shawn," "drinking," "winter," and several sports-related words, including "game," "habs," "jays," "leafs," "hockey," "playoffs," "flames."
Meanwhile in the U.S., people tended to use more online slang (lol, lmao, smh), swear words, and words used to express negative feelings ("hate," "damn," "mad," "ugly").
One obvious pattern emerged from this analysis: Canadians are happier – at least their Tweets are happier and "nicer."
Although, the researchers do warn that just because our words reflect "nice" and happy doesn't mean our behaviour always follows.
In other words, it's difficult to prove a stereotype based on Tweets alone, or one study alone.
But every study and analysis has its caveats, and 37 million Tweets is a thorough sample. Ultimately, this word analysis study most definitely confirms all our suspicions.