FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, I traded Toronto for Los Angeles. I quickly discovered the US can be a tough room and some of my quaint old habits wouldn’t fly. Like…
1. Oat, A-boat, and Soorry
Hell yes I’m starting with these bad boys. Why? They were the most obvious of my Canadianisms and the first to go. Announcing my place of origin before I could, they made it impossible to get through a sentence without some incredulous American interrupting with, “Wait a second. Are you Canadian?!” Which was inevitably followed by the old joke about how Canada got its name (“C-eh-N-eh”…you get the idea).
Maybe if I’d come here as an adult instead of an acceptance-seeking teen, I would have held onto this one, but I’m kind of glad I didn’t. I prefer to keep my Canadian identity as a trump card, quietly blending with the general pop until BAM! I whip off the mask when the yanks least expect it. That is, if “eh” doesn’t out me first. Never giving up “eh.”