Apparently, according to my recent facebook status, I have just been to the store! THE STORE?? I have been here 5 minutes and already I am going to the STORE. I, of course, meant I had popped round the shop.
My purchases were some 2% milk, cookies, band-aids and pop tarts. In England I would have picked up some semi skimmed milk, biscuits, plasters and, well, pop tarts.
It got me thinking though, about how easily these new words start to sneak into your vocabulary. I suppose it is mostly out of politeness that I use these terms, when indeed I do. If you were living in France for a couple of months, I think it would be only polite to speak their language where possible, especially when asking for help or enquiring about something. It is kind of the same thing here, they don’t have shops, they have stores. The names of certain shops are different too, for example, they don’t have a chemist, they have a drug store. You can’t get alcohol at the supermarket, you have to go to the Beer store.
If I was to say path, meaning sidewalk, when walking along in Toronto, locals wouldn’t think I was talking about the pavement, they would think I meant a 17 mile network of tunnels under the city, which according to Guinness World Records, is the largest underground shopping complex in the world with 4 million square feet of retail space.
I have developed a bit of a thing for fries. I didn’t really like chips over in England, but I have started to try them out here and am enjoying them. However, if you ask for chips with your meal here, you would get crisps.
So I suppose I am starting to get into the habit of using the Canadian words for things, without realising too much that I am doing it. There are still times when the language differences baffle me though. The other day I had a really bad headache and we went to get some paracetamol, nobody knew what I wanted, and I didn’t know the word they used for it. I managed without!
So I do apologise to friends and family back home if some Canadian-isms slip out now and again, but I will always draw the line at calling football soccer. If that ever happens you have my permission to hop over here and give me a good old fashioned mackem slap!