Wednesday, June 27, 2007

There are certain words I try to avoid saying in the company of British people.

Oregano.
Tomato.
Aluminiom.

This is, of course, because Brits have a different way of pronoucing certain words than Canadians and I can be somewhat self-concious of my "accent". Opening my mouth in public, in general, might draw a few looks of suspicion but really, it is when i pronounce certain words that people seem to roll their eyes or make a point of correcting me. I think it has something to do with being a Canadian and Canadians, in general, shun drawing attention to ones self.

Take, for example, lunch yesterday. i walked to my one of my favourite wee vegetarian/hippie granola joints for their daily home-made soup. Walking into the packed cafe/shop, it was with horror that i noticed the soup was spicy TOMATO with OREGANO.

Shit. Two weird British-sounding words in one go.

Well, when in Rome and all that. And so, i tried pronouncing the soup British style. Only, i ended up sounding like a complete idiot as i struggled with "Or-A-Gan-Oh" and draw the puzzled gawks of the local school kids on their lunch hour. The server even laughed at me. Maybe culture shock isn't istantaneous; perhaps it is a long and drawn out humbling experience that shakes you back into appreciation, just when you're getting too comfortable.

2 comments:

Katie said...

I also have a problem with the whole "pants vs. trousers" thing. Every once in a while I refer to my pants (meaning my jeans) and people get the wrong idea.

JC said...

Katie

i have totes experienced the trauma of "pants" versus "trousers" statements. An innocent remark of "oh, my pants are stained" can turn into a life time of hysteria and taking the piss.