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On 14 Mar 2005, Neeraj Mathur wrote that "Peter T. Daniels" wrote, responding to a message the attribution of which I can't figure out...
Oh, is the Subway chain a Canadian corporation? "Sub" is ... to be decorated with wallpaper of old NY subway maps.

I'm not actually sure about Subway. It's possible that they brought the sandwich and the name 'sub' with them, but I have no idea. On the other hand, there is a Canadian sandwich chain called 'Mr. Sub'. No idea which came when.

I'm pretty certain that "sub" as in "submarine sandwich" was first by quite a long shot.
I seem to recall calling them "subs" about 30 years ago when I was at university in Ottawa and Toronto, and I don't recall "Subway" as a chain.
Wasn't the big franchise in those days "Mr Submarine"?

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
I've lived in Canada most of my life and I've ... you.. " Where in Canadais the first construction prevalent?

I'm not sure about 'I'm done my homework', but certainly, 'Are youdone your homework yet?' is fine to me. I'm from Mississauga. Neeraj Mathur

This is what I hear in Toronto. Early on in my sojourn here, folks would not only tell me "I don't say that" but also "I've never heard that!" But they often said this just after having said or heard it. It was as though it was perfectly normal unless someone called their attention to it. They were beautifully unaware of it. It was fascinating..like pointing out to teenagers that they say "like" and "y'know" a lot ("Like, I do not!"), but in a more civil environment.

I don't notice it so much anymore, probably because now I say it too. But if I make a point of listening for it, I hear it all the time, both with "finished" and with "done".
Side note: Funny, I don't really hear the Canadian "ou" diphthong anymore, I guess because I say it that way now myself...but I never picked up the flat "a" in words like "pasta", nor the long "o" in words like "project" or "process", and those pronunciations still stand out to me.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I just remembered another one, if purely lexical examples count:

"Scrutineer".
I never heard the word until I moved to Canada. Now some of my best friends are scrutineers, at least at election time. Anyone in the States use this?
There are a great many others of this sort, like "dog's breakfast" and "*** disturber", probably all covered in one of the other groups ("can-usa differences" or something like that).
is

Another distinct Canadian usage I just thought of is the use of "download" in a political sense where it means to shift responsibility and cost from one level of gov't to another. e.g from federal to provincial.
Another distinct Canadian usage I just thought of is the use of "download" in a political sense where it means to shift responsibility and cost from one level of gov't to another. e.g from federal to provincial.

I think "terms relating to the political set-up" is probably a fruitful category for Canadian-specific language. About the only specifically Canadian joke I know one which doesn't translate to other countries is bassed on that.

British: The Elephant and the Empire.
French: The Sex Life of the Elephant.
US: How to Make a Bigger and Better Elephant.
Canadian: The Elephant: A Federal or Provincial Responsibility?

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I just remembered another one, if purely lexical examples count: "Scrutineer". I never heard the word until I moved to ... "dog's breakfast" and "*** disturber", probably all covered in one of the other groups ("can-usa differences" or something like that).

"Scrutineer" might be a unique product of the Canadian electoral system. A while ago we found that "avails" as in "living off the avails of prostitution" seemed to have survived nowhere but in Canada.

But "dog's breakfast" is I think another "non-USA" item, certainly well-known in NZ. For the latter phrase I think "***-stirrer" would be the common expression here. What's it supposed to be in USAnian?

Ross Clark
I think you make my point. "zed" is indeed US vs non-US; "chesterfield" is probably a Canadianism but, as you say, obsolescent.

Why do you say that chesterfield is probably a Canadianism and why do you think it's obsolescent? I agree that the word is not used very much, if at all, in the U.S. but surely its use in the rest of the world is not confined to Canada.
In this Canadian house our chesterfield is only sometimes called a couch. It certainly ain't no davenport, settee, sofa, lounge, bench, etc. Is couch an American word?
aokay
Milwaukee

So is it a continuum down to there? Does it spread east-west at all?

No, I didn't say Wisconsin (let alone Minnesota), I said Milwaukee!

I got some strange-looking results on my students' phonetic transcription homework, but when half a dozen of them, at least, had the same odd form (there were maybe a dozen words in the exercise in all), I had them say the words, and sho'nuff, they were as pround of their odd vowels as they were of their "bubblers"! Which means it's not a "marker" in Labov's sense, but a conscious element of local awareness.

(I had to commute from Chicago for that class.)

Peter T. Daniels (Email Removed)
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On 14 Mar 2005, retrosorter wrote

Another distinct Canadian usage I just thought of is the ... level of gov't to another. e.g from federal to provincial.

British: The Elephant and the Empire. French: The Sex Life of the Elephant. US: How to Make a Bigger and Better Elephant. Canadian: The Elephant: A Federal or Provincial Responsibility?

When I stayed with my Assyriologist friend in Toronto (he's also from Missisauga, but he doesn't want anyone to know that), he told me that an ID-less Canadian was trying to return from a day in the US, and the way he proved to the border guards that he belonged was to sing the national pizza chain phone number jingle. (I don't remember what it was, so I guess it works.)

Peter T. Daniels (Email Removed)
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