Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Funny U.S. vs. Canadian words, part 2

By far, the most popular post on my blog so far (and the most searched) is Funny U.S. vs. Canadian words, part 1.  Those were pretty general, and I've learned some more.  The terms for things are just slightly different enough that I understand the words, but used in a context I'm not used to, I just get lost and have to ask for an explanation.  As a disclaimer, a lot of these are education-related (I do work at a university, after all), and many of them were observed from Ontario natives.  American English first, then Canadian equivalents.

"As-falt" = "Ash-falt."  Or, in the words of one Ontario native, "Ash-vault."  Asphalt, people!

Governor = premier.  Basically, the leader of a state = leader of a province.  For me, it's Dalton McGuinty.  Learnin' my politics!

Grades = marks.  Not incomprehensible, just a term you don't hear much in the U.S.

Napkin = serviette.  Ah, a French influence!

Nonprofit = not-for-profit.  I wouldn't have noticed it, but it looks so British!

"Pah-sta" = "Pasta."  I had no idea how to convey the Canadian pronounciation, but it's a flat a, like in "at."  I make great amounts of fun of them for this.

Powdered sugar = icing sugar.  It took me a minute to figure it out.

"Prah-cess" = "prohcess."  My way of saying process now sounds downright twangy.

Proctoring = invigilating.  In other words, watching university students take an exam.  Oh, wait, I mean WRITE an exam (see below).  One of the more boring jobs of a grad student, but it makes money.

Silverware/flatware = cutlery.  Oh, Americans, they think we are HILARIOUS for saying silverware, especially when we talk about plastic silverware.  I am guilty of this infraction.

Taking exams = writing exams.  This is a major point of confusion, because whenever someone tells me they wrote an exam, I think they created it.

Teacher workday = professional development/professional activity day.  Days that students get off so that teachers can catch up or do workshops.

xth grade = grade x.  For example, "The advanced school has them learning grade 11 math in grade 10."

Every day, I collect more funny Canadian words, so it's likely that there will be a part 3!

1 comment:

  1. I hope since you are in Canada you like Canada. I was in the USA and I like it. Nothing wrong with either way. I'm Canadian, but I was raised in N. Fort Myers, Fl, and now I spell without a 'U' in my words. Canadian spelling includes the 'U' like in Neighbourhood I spell Neighborhood and Colour I spell Color....and it goes on and on lol I love all of North America, and I like your blog!