Are Canadians really that nice?

Are Canadians really as nice as the world thinks we are?

Hollywood movie star Meryl Streep was the latest to invoke the cliche in her Golden Globes speech on Sunday, a barbed critique of U-S president-elect Donald Trump that included a salute to London, Ontario's Ryan Gosling _ and Canadians in general _ for being ``the nicest people.''

Gosling's acceptance speech was all about his wife, who was working to raise their kids and care for her cancer-stricken brother so he could star in La La Land.

American author and avid traveller Eric Weiner says like it or not, Canadians should embrace this persistent perception, mostly because it's true.

Weiner says he gets a lot of push-back from Canadians who say, ``We're really not that nice,'' but the columnist for B-B-C Travel and former foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, disagrees.

He says while there's an element of passivity in the Canadian character that comes across sometimes -- the niceness is a politeness and humility they don't have in the U-S.

Author and screenwriter Ian Ferguson is quick to point out how mean Canadians can be behind closed doors -- especially when Americans are out of earshot.

The humorist from Victoria says after eight years of Barack Obama being president of the United States, Canucks haven't had an excuse to be really smug for a while -- ``and now we will have nothing but smugness coming out of Canada.''

While there really is no proof that Canadians are actually nice, post-doctoral researcher Daniel Schmidtke and PhD candidate Bryor Snefjella are trying to apply some science to it.

The duo from McMaster University is examining millions of geotagged tweets dating back to February 2015 to see if there are any ``positivity biases.''

Snefjella says so far, tweets originating in Canada tend to be kinder and gentler with more pleasant words.

Predominant ``Canadian words'' include ``great,'' ``amazing,'' and ``awesome.''

Predominant ``American words'' include several curse words, along with ``hate'' and ``damn.''