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Archive for October, 2012

While back in the USA recently, my mother was asked, do you speak Canadian? To which my mom, known in these pages as Brooklyn Mama, proudly stated, that she was originally from the United States, so no, she only speaks American.

I never really thought about it that much, but yeah I think there is a certain, Canadian language. I’m not talking French, the other official language of Canada. I’m also not referring to a Canadian accent, for example the often heard “aboot” instead of “about”, and other such pronunciations. I’m talking distinct English words and phrases that identify a Canadian from an American.

As they say, lets start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, with “A” or in this case, “Eh”, a favorite expression of Canadians. I’m not sure if it’s a phrase I actually hear Canadians say or it’s a stereotype Americans think Canadians say. Or if it’s something Canadians do to tick off Americans. Canadians can have a weird sense of humor. Usually, found at the end of a sentence, this two letter word has the unique ability to turn any word or phrase into a question. Examples: It’s cold out today, eh? This chicken is pretty good, eh?

There are also words that are commonly used in Canada. Some of these include drinking pop, instead of soda or using the washroom, instead of the bathroom. There is also the “toque” (pronounce “took”, like in spook) which is a winter wool hat, often worn when playing hockey on a frozen pond., also a Canadian thing. Boxed macaroni and cheese is often referred to as Kraft Dinner, regardless of brand. Then of the course there are ‘loonies”, one dollar coins featuring a loon on the reverse, or if your really rich “toonies” featuring, well a polar bear, but called a toonie because its worth two loonies. How creative.

And who can forget the purpose of this whole blog and its name sake? The last letter of the English alphabet the Zee! Or, as they tend to say here, Zed. When it became a Zed, I have no idea. I don’t remember an official proclamation declaring a Zee a Zed. I just kind of noticed that’s how people were saying it. But, I was born in the land of Zees. When I was a child it was a Zee. So, to me it will always remain the beloved, Zee.

In fact, I usually try to keep my spelling, pronunciations, and terminology American, hence the spellings in this post. So, I guess Mom is right, we do speak American. But I guess if I was to start speaking Canadian or more likely a hybrid Canadian/American, it would go something like this:

Cold out, eh? It must be about 25 degrees out. Glad I’m wearing a warm hat. Do you know where the bathroom is? I just drank too much soda. I couldn’t stop. It was only a loonie!

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