Soo yay babe :-) – Is this how women use language on Facebook?

Posted by
Anna Pollitt

"Sooo proud and thankful! Amazing husband so blessed. Yay :-)"

Remind you of anyone?

If it's not your own style, chances are a female Facebook friend regularly posts similar insights into your news feed, according to new research that suggests there's a clichéd gender divide in how we use language online.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania analysed how language varies between male and female Facebook users by sifting through 700 million words, phrases and topics posted by 75,000 people.

They came across "striking variations" between the sexes. For instance, men are more likely to use the possessive ‘my’ when posting about their partner than women, while female Facebook users are more liberal with their use of emoticons than men.

While men and women appear to be posting about different topics and in different ways, it seems that by and large both are adhering to outdated stereotypes - here are the words they found most likely to be associated with women and men...



Judging by these Facebook results, men are the swearier sex, precoccupied by football, warfare and beards and women are regularly launching into an acceptance speech related to their new haircut, or children.

What do you think? Should we care how people behave on social media? Appropriately enough you can tell us via Facebook, below.

Words: Anna Pollitt. Images: Rex Features, PLOS One


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Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant. The baby is borrowed.

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