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What’s Different in Canada
Posted: 31 May 2013 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Storeys, garburators, eavestroughs, and milk that comes in bags.

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Posted: 31 May 2013 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Storeys and slivers will be familiar to Brits. Do the Canadians share the British usage of ground floor? (The first floor in the UK being what Americans would call the second floor.)

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Posted: 31 May 2013 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m familiar with sliver.  In fact, it’s my (AmE) preferred term for such a thing.  Then again, my mom grew up in Canada, and she was the one who took care of my slivers, so I could have picked it up from her.

Urban dictionary has an entry that describes “sliver” (for a small splinter) as “Midwestern” slang, and there is, I believe, a fair amount of cross-over between Midwestern US and Canadian slang.  (But I am a West-coaster, so I don’t know the term by way of Midwest usage).

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Posted: 31 May 2013 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I recall a Peanuts strip from 40-50 years ago in which one of the kids (Linus, IIRC) got a “sliver”.  Sounded strange to young Midwestern me, who had always heard them called “splinters”.

In my grad school days, in the Lansing, Michigan, area, there was a chain of dairies cum convenience stores that sold their milk in plastic bags.  The price was generally lower than the milk in cartons or jugs at the grocery stores.

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Posted: 31 May 2013 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I enjoyed the post, which is generally erudite and witty, but it harbours a fat nit which I can’t resist picking:

“Bristol board” is what Canadians call poster board, another case of a brand name eventually becoming the generic name.

To the best of my knowledge and belief, “Bristol board” is not a brand name, nor has it ever been one.  Might as well call “Manila hemp" or “Dover sole” a brand name.

The term “Bristol board” is hundreds of years old. The sentence would sound less provincial if it read ‘ “Poster board” is what Americans call Bristol board’.

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Posted: 31 May 2013 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The entry that gave me a double take was the one noting that some words that end with a “-log” under the American spelling of the word are spelled with a “-logue” in Canada.  The given examples were “dialogue” and “catalogue.”

My first thought was, “Wait, are you saying that some people in the US spell it ‘dialog’?  Because that spelling looks absolutely bizarre to me.” However, per Wikipedia, the answer is “yes”.

I do, however, typically write “catalog” rather than “catalogue”, although either one looks OK to me.  Demonstrating, perhaps, the idiosyncratic nature of such things.

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Posted: 31 May 2013 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Do the Canadians share the British usage of ground floor?

No. The ground floor and the first floor are the same thing, as it is in the States.

My understanding is milk in bags is an Ontario thing, and not common in the rest of Canada. (I have no personal experience grocery shopping elsewhere in the country.) We do have non-bagged milk in Ontario, but it comes at something like a 400% markup.

Urban dictionary has an entry that describes “sliver” (for a small splinter) as “Midwestern” slang

DARE doesn’t list it, so I would question the Urban Dictionary entry, except, I recall the reading the same Peanuts strip as a child (in a compilation book, the strip in question predates me) and noting the use of “sliver.” Charles Schulz grew up in Minneapolis, so it may indeed by an upper Midwest/Canadian thing.

[ Edited: 31 May 2013 02:00 PM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 31 May 2013 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I recall the reading the same Peanuts strip as a child (in a compilation book, the strip in question predates me) and noting the use of “sliver.” Charles Schulz grew up in Minneapolis, so it may indeed by an upper Midwest/Canadian thing.

I grew up (upper midwest, Chicago area) with the use of sliver to mean an irritating piece of wood, usually, in one’s foot when walking across a floor. We would not have called it a splinter as that would signify a larger piece of wood (cf. splint)

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Posted: 31 May 2013 07:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Growing up in So Cal, we had both words, but splinter was more common.

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Posted: 31 May 2013 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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In the states, marijuana users call 3.5 grams of pot an “eighth,”

When did that start?  Back in the 70’s that amount was called a “nickel” because it cost $5.00.

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Posted: 01 June 2013 03:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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3.5 grams is an eighth of an ounce.

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Posted: 01 June 2013 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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There is much discussion of lids, nickel bags, etc. at this LH post.

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Posted: 01 June 2013 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Turning to the Canadian accent for a moment, Ehow has a page called How to talk with a Canadian accent. This is the paragraph that interests me:

End sentences with, “eh?” whenever possible. Canadians end a lot of their sentences with the confirming, “eh?” like Americans ask, “right?” or “you know?” at the end of sentences to make sure they are understood clearly or to verify that the other party agrees. This is one of the most recognizable Canadian expressions so be sure to use it whenever you can.

I’ve never been to Canada but I’ve known Canadians in the UK and I don’t recall any of them speaking in the way cited. In fact the only times I’ve come across this eh usage in movies, TV, etc, it’s been Americans sending up Canadians. How much truth is there to this?

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Posted: 01 June 2013 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Work has taken me to Canada many times in the past 40 years—mostly to B.C. As far as B.C.’s concerned , I can assure you that the “eh?” at the end of a sentence is most definitely there, and heard very frequently. Not everybody does it, though (unlike “aboot”, which is universal) ---- it may be a regional, dialect sort of thing, perhaps peculiar to descendants of settlers from a particular place/region?

Edit: why, I wonder, would anybody want to talk with an imitation Canadian accent? Very few people can fake an accent realistically - the rest just sound asinine, like L.Olivier doing Big Daddy. We’ve been over this before.

[ Edited: 01 June 2013 01:14 PM by lionello ]
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Posted: 01 June 2013 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I’ve never been to Canada but I’ve known Canadians in the UK and I don’t recall any of them speaking in the way cited. In fact the only times I’ve come across this eh usage in movies, TV, etc, it’s been Americans sending up Canadians. How much truth is there to this?

I have not heard this either. But Bob and Doug McKenzie, the ersatz Canadian brothers on SCTV popularized it.

In Milwaukee, where I live, there is a remnant of the German “oder” at the end of sentences which is still very popular there.  In fact, German friends do this when they speak English using the conjunction “or”. “So, the world will end tomorrow, or?”

In Milwaukeese it becomes “aina” (ain’t it?) or even sometimes “aina, hey?” Or “inso” which is short (I presume) for isn’t it so? It’s an invitation to offer an alternative to the statement being offered. “The world will end tomorrow, or [maybe not]? It is odd in my hearing but still somewhat prevalent. One woman in my congregation uses it all the time.

[ Edited: 01 June 2013 06:11 PM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 01 June 2013 10:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Bob and Doug McKenzie, the ersatz Canadian brothers on SCTV

Fictitious, and certainly exaggerated, but hardly “ersatz” Canadian.  Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, the actors who created and portrayed the characters, are both from Canada, eh?

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