Study: Online speech full of regional 'accents'

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The words you write on a social networking site can tell people more than just the status of your relationship or how you like the latest Bon Jovi CD. It also might just indicate where you are in the U.S.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University examined 380,000 messages from Twitter in one week and found that social networking is full of its own kinds of geographical dialects. Take the word cool, for example. Southern Californians tend to write the shorthand "coo," c-o-o, while their neighbors up north use the phonetic shorthand "koo," k-o-o.

The 4.5 million words the researchers examined were full of similar examples. Some of the differences across the Twitterverse can be explained by the need to write concisely to fit the site's 140-character limit.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.)


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