Saturday, 15 May 2021

CANADIANA (verse, photos, Scrabble-boards, and misc. nonsense)

Authors' Note:

centre: word-form used for 'population hubs' in the majority of English-speaking countries, exactly equivalent to the American center

traveller: ditto (American = traveler)

   The American visitors were not quite correct. We Canucks, if we were so motivated, would "practise pre-empting dissenters". But, as Canadians are inherently mannerly, few among us would ever consider such a response, eh? 

Authors' NoteThe metaphorical use of 'borrowing' in the context of speech and ideas continues, often without payback/return, in the examples of 'borrow a word/phrase', 'borrow a page', 'borrow an idea', etc.
 Characteristic differences in speech between Canada and adjacent regions of the United States involve words such as ehoutborrow and sorry. Exposure to a flood of American-based media has eroded some of these differences; but as our national anthem says, "We stand on guard for thee."
 Readers may note that, as an intentional measure of international friendliness, the above verse maintains its rhymes when read with either a Canadian or American accent.

Authors' Note: 
hinterland: a geographic term for 'interior', derived from the German adverb hinder = 'behind'.

The author contends that the summary he received overemphasized the adverse climatic conditions faced by Canadians, the majority of whom live in the more temperate southern portions of the country.

mid-November in Toronto

Authors' Note: 

Buffalonian: a native of Buffalo, New York, in the northern tier of American cities, located 90 miles (150 km) from Toronto, Canada

northern cities vowel shift: linguistic term for the key element in a regional accent whose use peaked in a band across the northeastern portion of the United States. Its use there is apparently now declining, but it has never been used in adjacent parts of Canada; the dialect is known as the Great Lakes dialect, Inland North dialect, or Inland Northern American English.

Buffalo Bisons: a class AAA minor league baseball team (Toronto Blue Jays affiliate). 

Authors' Note (originally written in 2016):  

   Growing marijuana seems to be a major activity on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, centred in the city of Nanaimo (nuh-NAHY-moh). Exemptions from restrictions on the substance are given for certain medical conditions, termed compassionate use; however, the criteria appear loosely applied, and overlapping recreational and medicinal use of the substance underlies the region's laid-back attitude.

   It is unlikely that Nanaimo will successfully challenge the dominance in limericks currently held by Nantucket. The island of Nantucket has been the setting for a number of limericks; the most famous clean one deals with a crotchety old man whose daughter rips off his poorly hidden cash.

Authors' Note: Ron, the anthropomorphic trumpeter swan, first appeared on this site in the verse 'trumpeter swan' in a blogpost dealing with waterfowl.

Authors' Note: In ice hockey, a hat trick denotes the scoring of three goals in one game by a single player. 

  The second verse is a spoof on the iconic Nanaimo limerick (the whole collection of these intriguing parodies can be found HERE).

  Hockey has a unique role, said to function as a foundation of national identity, as well as Canada's national sport. Beyond cheering the professional league players and national teams, there has been major growth in recreational hockey, both amateur leagues and informal games. The wide demographic now includes seniors and women. Reserved time at local ice-rinks, even in the wee hours, is a highly cherished commodity.

Authors' Note:  There is no satisfactory explanation for the similarity of the words encumber and cucumber.

   Kim Jong Un, third successive member of his family's ruling dynasty, became leader of North Korea in 2011. He has since garnered world attention by his blustering role in his country's programs to develop missiles and nuclear weapons; the latter are widely known informally as nukes.

   In the northern Canadian territories (Northwest Territory, Nunavut and the Yukon), the soil is poor in organic components and prone to salinity and permafrost. Cucumbers, known informally as cukes, must be imported into the Yukon from crops grown further south. The reader may well agree that these territories should remain nuke-free as well as cuke-free.

Authors' Note:

coyote: wolf-like wild dog,  with range recently extended into southern parts of Canada, and into Carolina coastal communities; a member of the canid family, as are dogs and wolves

cuanto: Spanish for 'how much?’

Pierre (PEER): town named by French explorers, capital of the U.S. state of  South Dakota, located due west of Toronto (2,100 km or 1,330 miles by highway).
  In the United States, nicknames (official or unofficial) for individual states are important for aspects such as vehicle licensing plaques, sports team designation and political bloviation. Geographic features and indigenous plants and animals may be so used, as in South Dakota, 'the coyote state’, and South Carolina, 'the palmetto state’.

Authors' Note: 

Acadia (uh-KAY-dee-yuh, as here, or uh-KAY-dyuh) or  l'Acadie: (French), name given in colonial times to the region corresponding to today's Atlantic Canada (the Maritime provinces)

tofurkey: a vegetarian substitute for turkey made from tofu

Action de grâce (ak-syon-duh-GRAS): literally action of grace; name derived from continental France for a harvest festival

habitants: French colonial settlers, a term honored in the title of Montreal's professional hockey team

   Thanksgiving Day, or Action de grâce, is a statutory holiday in the majority of Canadian provinces and territories, observed on the second Monday of October.


Authors' Note:

snowbird: a Canadian retiree seeking a warmer venue to spend the wintry months

  The Queen Charlotte Islands are a Canadian archipelago situated between 
the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaska Panhandle, with landmass one-third that of the Hawaiian Islands (the latter located considerably further south). They had been the heartland of the aboriginal Haida people, who numbered thirty thousand at the time of first contact with European explorers in the eighteenth century. Their territory has a unique environment based on moderate temperatures and heavy rainfall. The province of British Columbia renamed the islands Haida Gwaii (HIE-duh GWIE[-ee], 'islands of the people') in 2010.

Authors' Note: Accent is a word written similarly, but spoken very differently in French and English. Joual (ZHWAHL) is the name for the accent, grammar and even spelling used naturally by many speakers in the Canadian province of Quebec; this dialect had evolved over several centuries separately from the language spoken in France. In schools, businesses and media in Quebec and other francophone areas of Canada, 'québécois' (kay-bay-KWA), more standard French, with a local inflection and local vocabulary, now predominates. In Canadian English and French, residents of the province are known as Quebeckers or Québécois respectively.

You can review poems, pictures and diverse nonsense related to Canada on the post "Canadiana" on our full-service blog "Edifying Nonsense".


Trent-Severn (Ontario nostalgia)


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