Sincerely, Miss Canada

Monday, May 23, 2005

Yes, I have an accent.

Where are you from?

I am asked at least once a week where I am from. My accent is so strong that even the middle-eastern lady at the sandwich shop, and the cashier at my grocery store notice right away and ask me where I'm from. Or maybe that's just because I said "Please" and "Thank you".

Either way, I know I speak Canadian. There are some pointed differences, outside of the ubiquitous "Eh?" that punctuates my verbal language and the obvious spelling variations that characterize the written.

- I say a purse-lipped, prudish "out" and "about", while my American friends yawn a lazy, slack-jawed "aout" and "abaout".

- When I was in grade five, my American friends were in fifth grade.

- When I'm sorry, I'm SO-rry. When they're sorry, they're sah-rry.

- My Canadian teachers set exams, I write them, they grade them and I hope to get a good mark. American teachers write exams, the students take them and hope to get good grades.

- I say "you're welcome". Americans say "uh-huh", "yup", or "sure".

- My Mum and my husband's MOM get along splendidly.

- When get pissed, it often doesn't mean I'm angry.

- The last letter of the alphabet is zed.

There are lots of other examples -- I won't bore you with an exhaustive list.

a secret: I'm terrified of losing my accent.


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