Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is Your State Happy? By Elanie F.

Recently, researchers from the University of Vermont sifted through more than 10 million geotagged tweets from 2011 in order to map out the moods of the Americans in urban areas. They also ranked the locations based on frequency of positive and negative words.

The word list that they are using to rank how happy the tweet is includes 10,000 words that are ranked 1 to 10 on the degree of happiness. Some of the words on the lower end of the ranking are mad, hate, no, boo, smoke, and jail. On the other side of the scale we have LOL and haha, as well as good, nice, sleep, wine, food, or beach related words. Among all, rainbow is the happiest and earthquake is the saddest word.

The result shows that, Hawaii is the happiest state in the U.S. followed by Maine, Nevada, Utah and Vermont. Louisiana is found to be the saddest state followed by Mississippi, Maryland, Michigan, and Delaware. According to CNN, one reason for Louisiana’s low happiness ranking is  “its inhabitants' fondness for profanity.” Researcher have found that swear words are very liberally used in that area. For the similar reason, Hawaii is ranked the happiest state because many beach related words that are considered to be happy.

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