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OMG! LOL!!! and other things guys don't tweet

  • New study finds distinctions in male vs. female tweets
  • Which gender favors curse words? Which favors emoticons?
  • Study: Use of language in tweets can suggest how user conforms to mainstream gender roles
OMG! LOL!!! and other things guys don't tweet

The gender gap on Twitter exists somewhere between "LOL" and "nah bro". That's your super-condensed version of a new study looking at the differences in how men and women communicate on the social site.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech and Stanford University analyzed tweets from about 14,000 personal (not business) accounts and noticed distinct differences in the language each gender tended to use. However, they point out a lot of non-conforming tweets and users as well, whose language included many features more often associated with the opposite gender.

Among the more tell-tale female markers were the use of emoticons, expressive lengthening (hiiiiii, uuuugh), emotion terms (sad, love, proud, scared), computer-mediated communication (OMG, LOL) and exclamation points.

Also: all of Kim Kardashian's tweets ever.

For males, signature markers included tech words and terms (including http and Google), sports terms, numbers (including sports scores), the use of "nah," "yessir" or "ain't," and swear words, including "damn." Interestingly, the paper notes "the anti-swear darn appears in the list as a female marker."

Family terms were common among both genders, but there was a split on which were used by men and women. The authors write:

"Of the family terms that are gender markers, most are associated with female authors: mom, mommy, moms, mom's, mama, sister, sisters, sis, daughter, aunt, auntie, grandma, kids, child, children, dad, husband, hubby, hubs. However, wife, wife's, bro, bruh, bros, and brotha are all male markers."

So a distinctly "male" tweet probably looks a lot like this:

Researchers discovered "a strong correlation between the use of gendered language and the gender skew of social networks." Meaning, for men, the more guys you follow, the more likely male markers are to show up in your own tweet. A linguistic "house of mirrors," according to the study.

Among its conclusions are that "social network gender homophily and the use of mainstream gendered linguistic features are closely linked... suggesting a root cause in the individual's relationship to mainstream gender norms and roles."

You can review the full report right here, bruh: Gender in Twitter: Styles, stances, and social networks

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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