Friday, 8 January 2010

in a manner of speaking

I am raising a couple of Canadians.

Of course I know that, but sometimes they use a turn of phrase and it strikes me - these aren't the kids with the guy next door I thought I'd have.

My daughter uses the washroom. Politely. But never bathroom, or restroom.

My son says chesterfield.

And they both, (intermittently, so it's always a shock) say zed.

A-B-C (and so on)
W,X,Y, and ZED.

It doesn't rhyme, and it falls on my still-American ear with a thud.

It comes as a shock sometimes how --despite shared biology--we are so different.

Next year we're talking about putting Rosey in girls' hockey. I'd better pick up some books and study before then - I have a feeling it's going to be a brave new world for me then.


BabelBabe said...

hockey's easy. to understand, that is.
go, rosey!

Loth said...

We say "zed" here too, so maybe they are actually a bit Scottish.

That's not any better, is it?

Jen on the Edge said...

Zed? Really?

And what's a chesterfield?

maryP said...

I'm Canadian, and call it 'zed', but I agree: that 'W, X, Y and ZED' just doesn't flow, ya know?

That is, however, no reason to change the name of the letter... :D

'Chesterfield' takes me back. I called it that as a child -- that and 'settee'. I'd totally forgotten I ever did so, it's been so many years that I've called it a 'couch'. I wonder if that's a 'down east' thing?

Suzanne said...

It is interesting how so many things are similar in Canada, yet every once in a while, something comes along and says "Hey, you're not in the lower 48!"

Isabelle said...

A chesterfield - I'd have thought it had to be a sofa with a button back. We always say "sofa".

My children all pronounce "often" with the "t", whereas I always say "offen". Which I think is odd.

ree said...

Having grown up so close to Canada, it's so easy for me to hear a Canadian accent when I listen, and zed still thuds for me.

I think the U.S. is the ONLY English-speaking country that says 'zee'

And a chesterfield is a couch, right?

daysgoby said...

Sorry - Ree, Jen - A chesterfield is a couch. I think it's a generational thing, which makes it even odder that my young kids have picked it up.

Isabelle - You offen say offen? :)

Me too.

kittenpie said...

Good job, you, they are speaking properly!

I keep trying to come up with good endings for the alpha song to rhyme with Zed. Try it, it can get pretty funny.

Stomper Girl said...

We say zed too, you get used to the quirky non-rhymingness of it.

Jeanne said...

I always say zed, but the Alphabet song just doesn't sound right unless it's a zee.

Chesterfield? That sounds like something the British would say and I'm Canadian. East coast English is different from the rest of Canada though. My mother is from New Brunswick and we have always said ah-men even though everyone around us said ay-men, and we always pronounced aunt as awnt despite the local ant pronunciation. We also always said Grammy instead of Grannie.

I use both bathroom and washroom intermittently.

apathy lounge said...

Zed??? Really???

Momma Sunshine said...

I'm a hard core Canadian. I INSIST that my childre say "zed". I haven't heard "chesterfield" much since I was a kid, though I think my mom still says it. I think it might be more of a generational thing.

Personally, I like the little quirks that set us apart from our "american cousins". :)

alison said...

You'll know that the Canadianization is complete if you hear one of the kids say: "Mum, could you pass me a serviette? I've spilled my poutine on the chesterfield." :-)

I hope Rosey loves hockey.

Cathy said...

You're lucky you're kids are picking up "Canadian-eh" words. When I sign notes "mum" the kids get all upset and say I'm not spelling it right! When I say "chesterfield" the kids roll their eyes -- they're okay with "serviette" though -- maybe they just don't know what it is!

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mamatulip said...

I'm as Canadian as they come, but I HATE that zed doesn't rhyme. I usually say zee.

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kgirl said...

Ha ha - I CANNOT bring myself to say restroom when I'm in the states. That is not what you do in there.

My dad was American, so I grew up making fun of his dungarees and pocketbooks :)