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What’s Different in Canada
Posted: 02 June 2013 01:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Storeys and slivers will be familiar to Brits.

Only up to a point, Lord Copper. Storeys, yes: but here in Rightpondia something that gets stuck in your finger and has to be removed with a needle or tweezers is a splinter, not a sliver. Sliver isn’t all that common a word in standard British English, but when used it generally means something cut deliberately into narrow strips (‘I’ll just have a sliver of cheese’) , whereas a splinter is generally an accidental artefact (‘Careful handling those boards, they’re full of splinters’). I can’t answer for dialects, though, where they may have other meanings.

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Posted: 02 June 2013 03:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Fictitious, and certainly exaggerated, but hardly “ersatz” Canadian.

Not all that exaggerated. I’ve met people whose ordinary speech is quite similar to that of the McKenzie brothers. My unscientific sampling tells me that there is a class or education element involved, with the “eh” being more common among those with less schooling. That may also explain why it isn’t heard as often among Canadians abroad, who tend to be wealthier and better educated. It is also subject to code switching. I occasionally hear it in casual conversation among the grad students and faculty here at U of T, but almost never in lecture or other more formal context. That may also explain why it’s not heard abroad.

The “Canadian raising” of vowels is more widespread, doesn’t seem affected by class, and isn’t subject to code switching.

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Posted: 02 June 2013 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Dr. Techie - 01 June 2013 10:31 PM

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?

Perhaps badly worded and not the right word. I meant to say that they are not biological brothers.

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Posted: 02 June 2013 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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As an SE English Briton, my observations:
Hockey is played on grass. The other one is ice-hockey. This is not just being picky: anybody talking about “hockey” in the UK will be assumed to be talking about the version known in North America as “field hockey” (a fine retronym). Hockey is very popular among the South Asian community in Britain (who are, of course, called just “Asians”. And talking of whom, “Indians”, are, of course, from India.)
Storeys - yes, and “first floor” for the one above the ground floor.
Sliver - no, splinter.
Eavestrough - no, gutter.
Smarties - the ones that look like unlabelled M&Ms.
“When ordering toast at a Canadian restaurant” - um - we don’t order toast in restaurants (and that “at” and “in” looks to be a difference …). We might order toast in a cafe (or caff), to go with fried eggs, sausages and baked beans, in which case “brown or white?” would be a not-unexpected question: similarly we might expect the same question if ordering a sandwich to be made for us in a sandwich shop.
Saying “sorry” to the person who bumped into you - absolutely.
Britons “take” tests and get “marks”.
Bacon is bacon (ie what USians call “back bacon") - the other sort is called “streaky bacon”.
They’re supply teachers.
“Pop” is music. The drinks might have been called “pop” 70 or 80 years ago, but today it’s “soft drinks” or “fizzy drinks”.
Traffic cones are traffic cones.
Our usage of “university” and “college” and the names for poeple in different years looks to be identical to Canadian usage.
However, “1st grade/grade one” would be “Year 2” (we start school with Year 1 at five here ... indeed, most kids today start even earlier than that, in “Reception”, which would be half a day, five days a week, from the age of four ...) and “secondary school” starts at age 11, in the US equivalent of 6th grade.

That’s enough for now ...

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Posted: 02 June 2013 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Syntinen makes a good point about the usage of sliver in the UK which my previous post obscured. ‘Tis just so.

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Posted: 02 June 2013 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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What you lot (UK/US) understand by a ‘sliver’, we, in southern Scotland, call a ‘spail’.

I also have a near memory (er...) of a word ‘skelf’ for the same thing. Presumably both W Germanic but you never know.

Bloody sore getting them taken out of your fingers anyhow, which I had twice and it is definitely for the stout-hearted. Which ah wisnae!

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Posted: 02 June 2013 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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BlackGrey - 02 June 2013 04:14 PM

Bloody sore getting them taken out of your fingers anyhow, which I had twice and it is definitely for the stout-hearted. Which ah wisnae!

Next time soak your finger in hot water for a few minutes.  Whatever it’s called, it’ll come right out.

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Posted: 02 June 2013 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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However, “1st grade/grade one” would be “Year 2” (we start school with Year 1 at five here ... indeed, most kids today start even earlier than that, in “Reception”, which would be half a day, five days a week, from the age of four ...)

A relatively recent “Public School” invention here is K-4 which is kindergarten at 4 years of age--a half day publicly financed program in some cities (perhaps before sequestration). It’s been the bane of many private programs until very recently.

In previous days, Kindergarten (which in Germany where the word comes from is what we would call “day-care") begins at five or so.

The ages are figured in most places by date of birth after September. One could turn 6 in October and enter Kindergarten.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 12:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Bacon is bacon (ie what USians call “back bacon") - the other sort is called “streaky bacon”.

As a Londoner born (in 1956) and bred, I beg to differ. The unqualified word ‘bacon’, to me, refers equally to all cuts of bacon - back, streaky and collar - either smoked or unsmoked. I would certainly not assume one cut or cure rather than another; if you wanted me to grill you some back bacon for your breakfast rather than streaky, you’d have to specify; if you just asked for ‘bacon’, you might get any cut.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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In some two-syllable words where the vowel sound in the first syllable is an A, it is pronounced like the A in “apple,” not as in “father.” This includes words like pasta (PA-sta), data (DA-tuh), bagel (BAG-ull), basil (BAZZ-ull).

The one that I have emboldened is just weird.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Where is that?  I can’t figure out what OPT is quoting.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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It’s on page 5 of the linked article in Dave’s OP, in The Letter A entry.

Someone asks why the letter H in herb is not silent in Canada. It used to be silent in the UK, and in fact I still pronounce it thus, but, as with hotel, the H has become sounded over the last 50 years or so.

[ Edited: 03 June 2013 12:13 PM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 03 June 2013 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Whoever it is, it’s someone with ideas of pronunciation which are very foreign to me.  I’ve always pronounced “data” DAY-ta, “bagel” BAY-gel, “basil” as Mrs. Fawlty says it, and “pasta” (not very accurately) as a modern Roman would pronounce “pasta”. I know people who say Basil as in Hazel, and Data as in Garter, or as in Hatter; that’s their own affair. But anyone who says “Bagel” as in “Waggle” needs his/her ears cleaned out (or alternatively, might need some lessons in typing).

(Edit after checking aldi’s posting): Minimalist Overboard!

[ Edited: 03 June 2013 12:38 PM by lionello ]
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Posted: 03 June 2013 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I say “DAY-ta”, but I used to say DAH-ta.
BAY-gel, PAH-sta.
My basil rhymes with dazzle.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Dr. Kate Pulaski: Dah-ta, look at this.
Lt. Commander Data: [looking slightly confused] ‘Day-ta’.
Dr. Kate Pulaski: What?
Lt. Commander Data: My name. It is pronounced ‘Day-ta’.
Dr. Kate Pulaski: Oh?
Lt. Commander Data: You called me “Dah-ta”.
Dr. Kate Pulaski: [laughing] What’s the difference?
Lt. Commander Data: One is my name. The other is not.

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