AA7295
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American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:57 am

I've been thinking heaps lately about how people can judge someone by there accent. Here in Sydney there are heaps of Americans and Canadians, but everyone assumes that they are both Canadian. Why can't the technical term for either accent be called 'North American accent'?
 
ajd1992
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:40 am

Probably because there's so many different accents. An Alabama accent is way different to a Toronto accent. It's the same as why there's no "British" accent (even if foreigners think we all talk the same, we don't!  Silly). In the UK, accents change every 5 miles in any direction, so it's a little bit strange to just say they all sound the same, because a London accent and a Glasweigan (Glasgow) accent are just completely different.
 
David L
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:04 pm



Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 1):
It's the same as why there's no "British" accent (

True. I get a bit irked when someone talks about a "British" accent but, in fairness, they usually mean "one of the many British accents". I'm just as guilty when talking about an "American" accent when I really mean "one of the many American accents". That said, I still hear people specifically referring to the British accent. That's just wrong.  grumpy 
 
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DocLightning
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:16 pm



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
I've been thinking heaps lately about how people can judge someone by there accent. Here in Sydney there are heaps of Americans and Canadians, but everyone assumes that they are both Canadian. Why can't the technical term for either accent be called 'North American accent'?

Because it's a geographical spectrum. An accent from Detroit, MI is very similar to an accent from Windsor, ON, right across the river. There is a difference but it's subtle. It's like how to you guys the difference between an Aussie and a Kiwi is obvious but to the rest of us it's very subtle.

Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American.
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RicciPettit
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:22 pm

I can tell a Boston/New York accent and a Southern US accent but apart from that any other Americans or Canadians sound exactly the same to me.

Maybe I should just listen to see if they are using "eh?" excessively to help haha.
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IHadAPheo
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:33 pm

The difference in accent here in KBUF than the one across the Niagara river in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada is quite obvious. While here in there is an somewhat flat version of the typical mid-west accent however the accent in Fort Erie is easily identifiable as "Canadian".

The distance may only be a a few hundred feet but the difference in accent is easy to pick out. When we take visiting friends to see Niagara Falls many to comment on the differences in accent.

IHAP

Oh yes, when I was much younger even the thought of a Canadian girl with a bag of Humpty Dumpty Ketchup chips would make me quite happy.. and if she liked to go curling oh my (There was something special about her yelling "SWEEP!" in that wonderful accent whilst I tried very hard not to fall on the ice)
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ScarletHarlot
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:16 pm

I like ketchup chips.
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David L
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:35 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American.

Yes, I didn't get that either. Maybe there are more Canadians than Americans in Sydney.

Quoting Ihadapheo (Reply 5):
even the thought of a Canadian girl with a bag of Humpty Dumpty Ketchup chips would make me quite happy



Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 6):
I like ketchup chips

Result!  biggrin 
 
Arrow
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:56 pm



Quoting David L (Reply 7):
Maybe there are more Canadians than Americans in Sydney.

No. It's because Americans are largely shy, retiring types who work really hard at not standing out, never want to make a fuss, and are almost paranoid about making sure they don't do anything to offend their hosts.

Canadians, on the other hand, are boorish louts who get drunk regularly, wear their flags on their clothing, and piss off just about everyone within earshot. They loudly insult all traditions of the host country and brag endlessly about how great they are.

 Big grin

Now, don't get me going on the differences between Aussies and Kiwis ...
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IHadAPheo
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:57 pm



Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 6):
I like ketchup chips.

And a way cool Canadian accent....

Quoting David L (Reply 7):
Result! ....

Zippy faints...


IHAP

Now if she was a Nick Cave fan I would have to hit the Vodka and Tang big time....
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sccutler
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:58 pm

My poor sister.

Born in France and was a French-speaker until she was three, then Dallas and Texas until she graduated from University, then taught English in Japan for several years, then English in France, married an Aussie, and has lived there ever since (25+years). Aussies say she has an American accent, Americans think she has an Aussie accent.

One mistake I will never make again, though, and that is referring to someone speaking with a Kiwi accent as "Australian." No one involved in that exchange was happy!
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unattendedbag
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:03 pm



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
heaps of Americans and Canadians, but everyone assumes that they are both Canadian. Why can't the technical term for either accent be called 'North American accent'?

I don't quite understand your question. Both the United States and Canada are considered 'North America'.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American.

again, an American is a 'North American' and a Canadian is a 'North American'.

am I missing something here?
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BWilliams
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:27 pm



Quoting Ihadapheo (Reply 5):
The difference in accent here in KBUF than the one across the Niagara river in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada is quite obvious. While here in there is an somewhat flat version of the typical mid-west accent however the accent in Fort Erie is easily identifiable as "Canadian".

Bit of an aside, but there's actually some research about the way we Buffalonians talk (although I can't remember the guy's name who did the research)... it basically comes down to the fact that the area was so overwhelmingly Polish a few generations back that the local dialect picked up some expressions and such from Polish.
Regards, Brad Williams
 
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Revelation
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:39 pm



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Here in Sydney there are heaps of Americans and Canadians, but everyone assumes that they are both Canadian.

Funny, many Americans think Aussie and Kiwi accents are actually British accents. It helps if you say "crikie!" every so often....
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
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casinterest
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:41 pm



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Why can't the technical term for either accent be called 'North American accent'?

Umm there are 23 countries in North America, including Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, amongst others. Exactly how would you determine this North American Accent.

Also, Greenland(Denmark), Bermuda(UK), Guadaloupe(France), Netherland Antilles(Netherlands) and other possessions/terrirories are in North America.

How would you characterize that accent?
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ANITIX87
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:42 pm



Quoting SCCutler (Reply 10):
Aussies say she has an American accent, Americans think she has an Aussie accent.

My roommate was born in England and moved to New Hampshire when he was 13. Americans insist he's British and the Brits ask where in the USA he's from.


An interesting bit of information is that, linguistically, the Southern drawl we have here in the United States is the closest "North American" accent to that of the British folk. While it may sound completely different it's the most closely related.

Also, the way we speak in the Northeast of the USA is actually closest to Shakespearean English accents, though I don't really know how they can know that.

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David L
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:48 pm



Quoting Arrow (Reply 8):

 biggrin 

Quoting UnattendedBag (Reply 11):
Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
heaps of Americans and Canadians, but everyone assumes that they are both Canadian. Why can't the technical term for either accent be called 'North American accent'?

I don't quite understand your question. Both the United States and Canada are considered 'North America'.

I think he's talking about a term for either that wouldn't offend the other instead of trying to guess whether it's an American accent or a Canadian accent and getting it wrong.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
Funny, many Americans think Aussie and Kiwi accents are actually British accents

If you want to find out, ask about underarm bowling in cricket. If they give a neutral response they're English, if they burst out laughing they're Australian and if they go mental they're Kiwi.

 duck 
 
A332
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:07 pm

You can't go with a general 'north american' accent as it differs from region to region.

Even in Canada we all sound a bit different. Folks in Western Canada (BC, AB, SK, MB) speak and sound just like those living in the Pacific Northwest. Residents of Ontario have a slightly different accent, Quebec obviously is very different, and most of us in the West have no idea what those from the Maritimes are going on about... since their accent is radically different from ours.

Of course, since Alberta and Saskatchewan (to a lesser extent) are loaded with Maritimer ex-pats, you do run into their accent quite a bit here.

The US is the same, those in California sound different than those in the Pacific Northwest. Folks in the Northeast speak differently than the Southerners, etc.
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Jetsgo
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:11 pm

What on Earth are ketchup chips?
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BAViscount
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:33 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 17):
most of us in the West have no idea what those from the Maritimes are going on about... since their accent is radically different from ours.

I met a few native Newfoundlanders in St. Johns who sounded more Irish than Canadian!

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
Funny, many Americans think Aussie and Kiwi accents are actually British accents.

On the flip side of that, a lot of Americans have asked me over the years what part of Australia I'm from...I'm a born and bred South Londoner!! Big grin
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ajd1992
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:52 pm



Quoting BAViscount (Reply 19):
I met a few native Newfoundlanders in St. Johns who sounded more Irish than Canadian!

A lot of Newfoundlanders are of strong Irish descent... Probably ones going for America and they missed  Wink
 
N867DA
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:32 pm



Quoting JetsGo (Reply 18):
What on Earth are ketchup chips?

Even Lays makes them for the Canadian market!
http://www.taquitos.net/snacks.php?snack_code=369

They're ketchup flavored potato chips.
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peterpuck
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:13 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American

I've met many more Canucks in Oz than Americans for some reason.

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 18):
What on Earth are ketchup chips?

Are you serious?
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:22 pm



Quoting Ihadapheo (Reply 9):
Now if she was a Nick Cave fan I would have to hit the Vodka and Tang big time....

Well, they did call me the wild rose, though my name was Eliza Day. But that is because I'm a Kylie fan - sorry IHAP.  Wink

Quoting PeterPuck (Reply 22):
I've met many more Canucks in Oz than Americans for some reason.

I would guess that it has something to do with both countries being Commonwealth countries.

Quoting PeterPuck (Reply 22):
Quoting JetsGo (Reply 18):
What on Earth are ketchup chips?

Are you serious?

PeterPuck is right. They are the closest thing to Bliss available in a food item!
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Kent350787
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:45 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American.

Because it annoys Americans when you ask "and where in Canada are you from, eh?"  Silly
 
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DocLightning
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:07 pm



Quoting UnattendedBag (Reply 11):

again, an American is a 'North American' and a Canadian is a 'North American'.

To clarify, I consider an American accent (and there are many American accents) to be a subset of the North American accents.

Just as I consider a cockney accent to be a subset of "English Accents." And a hilarious subset at that...
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Braybuddy
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:22 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American.

While it doesn't seem to bother Americans if they are assumed to be Canadian, assuming the reverse is a BIG no-no. And who wants to offend visitors?
 
BAViscount
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:37 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 25):
Just as I consider a cockney accent to be a subset of "English Accents." And a hilarious subset at that...

Hilarious because of the way we speak, or because of our dry, sparkling wit?! Big grin
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photopilot
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:08 pm

Oh... Please!!!!

The Yanks BUTCHER the English language and many of them sound like they're talking with a mouth full of marbles.
 
unattendedbag
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:43 pm



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 28):
The Yanks BUTCHER the English language and many of them sound like they're talking with a mouth full of marbles.

At least we only have 1 official language. And it isn't French!
Slower traffic, keep right
 
skyservice_330
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:55 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 17):
You can't go with a general 'north american' accent as it differs from region to region.

Even in Canada we all sound a bit different. Folks in Western Canada (BC, AB, SK, MB) speak and sound just like those living in the Pacific Northwest. Residents of Ontario have a slightly different accent, Quebec obviously is very different, and most of us in the West have no idea what those from the Maritimes are going on about... since their accent is radically different from ours.

Of course, since Alberta and Saskatchewan (to a lesser extent) are loaded with Maritimer ex-pats, you do run into their accent quite a bit here.

The US is the same, those in California sound different than those in the Pacific Northwest. Folks in the Northeast speak differently than the Southerners, etc.

 checkmark  Well said. You can't really speak of a Canadian or American accent, never mind a North American accent. North America is made up of many, different, regional dialects.

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 18):
What on Earth are ketchup chips?

 Wow!  Wow! See:

Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 23):
They are the closest thing to Bliss available in a food item!

 
IHadAPheo
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:06 pm

Woo Hoo, one of the Canadian nurse was kind enough to bring me a bag of Humpty Dumpty Ketchup Chips. Ah the joys of having your fingers turn "ketchup chip red". Sadly a large bag lasted us but a hour (wifey and my daughter are fans as well)

IHAP

did I mention that he nurse was Canadian and has an accent that makes grown chimps woozy with glee...
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EWRCabincrew
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:11 pm



Quoting Unattendedbag (Reply 29):
At least we only have 1 official language. And it isn't French!

Not as a nation, officially. State, maybe (like Arizona). English is the predominate language (for now  stirthepot  ) for the US.

As for American/North American accent, in the US, there are many accents (Boston, NJ, NY, upper Midwest, Southern, etc..) and hard to classify as one singular accent. As for Canadian accent, I can spot a Canadian accent a mile away. There are certain nuances that give it away, every time and it is really different than an a US accent.

American, while it encompasses everything from the Yukon to Patagonia, it is generally meant the US. Kind of egocentric at that, but I digress. It is hard to give the US any one accent as whole.

There was a show on PBS called "The Story of English". Phenomenal. It showed how people in English speaking areas of the world speak with the accent, manner, spelling they do and why. Very interesting. I love languages, it was very insightful.
You can't cure stupid
 
photopilot
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:52 pm



Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 32):
American, while it encompasses everything from the Yukon to Patagonia, it is generally meant the US.

Oh GOD!!!! I want to CRY!!!!

You might have married a Canadian.... hence the flag, but you still don't know diddly about Geography!!!

Just an FYI for you. The Yukon (Territories) is part of Canada and is NOT AMERICAN. And here I thought that only US Presidential candidates didn't know how many States there were! Big grin  Big grin  Big grin
 
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DocLightning
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:11 pm



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 33):

Oh GOD!!!! I want to CRY!!!!

(RANT)

Well if we're not Americans, then what would you like us to be? United States of Americans?

The best alternative I've ever heard is "Statesiders." But that's not going to catch on. So you can be Canadians and we can be Americans.

Australia and the U.S. are the only two countries in the world that have the problem of being named the same as their respective continents. However, Australia IS the whole continent, so they don't have that problem.

Our name sucks because we are not the whole continent, but our name is the same as the continent. In fact, we are the only sovereign in history that hasn't had a name. In fact, I think the name of our country was a compromise. We didn't even get our own singular noun like "Federation" or "Union" or "Hegemony." (just because I wish I was a citizen of a hegemony only because I love that word  Wink )

So I'm terribly sorry for your inconvenience and your feeling of being left out, but the rest of North and South America can call themselves Mexican or Canadian or Costa Rican or Chilean, but "America" is the only name we've got.

(/RANT)
-Doc Lightning-

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photopilot
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:38 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 34):
.......but "America" is the only name we've got.

I bet there are just a whole bunch of people worldwide who can think of something else to call you guys....... Big grin Big grin
 
Zentraedi
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:41 pm



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 33):

Oh GOD!!!! I want to CRY!!!!

You might have married a Canadian.... hence the flag, but you still don't know diddly about Geography!!!

Just an FYI for you. The Yukon (Territories) is part of Canada and is NOT AMERICAN. And here I thought that only US Presidential candidates didn't know how many States there were! Big grin Big grin Big grin

That fact that you mention Yukon, while ignoring the latter half of the sentence makes you look ignorant. Do you even know where Patagonia is? From that, the context should obvious.
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:55 pm



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 33):
Just an FYI for you.

Just an FYI for you, the Yukon is in America. North America. Patagonia is in America. South America. America can refer to the Americas. North, Central and South.

This from a pilot, too. Big grin

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 33):
you still don't know diddly about Geography!!!

I know quite a bit about geography. More than average. Thank you, though.
You can't cure stupid
 
WunalaYann
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:19 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American.

Because the proportion of Canadian backpackers in Oz seems much higher than that of American travellers. I have no hard data on that but my own experience, combined with extensive chatter on the subject with many people of my age group, confirms this.

 Smile

And there is a Canadian accent, different from a US accent, in broad terms. But there are hundreds of accents in North America, in more refined terms.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 8):
Now, don't get me going on the differences between Aussies and Kiwis ...

Please go ahead and humour us!!  biggrin 

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
It helps if you say "crikie!" every so often....

Funny enough, I've never heard anyone say that.  Wink

Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 23):
I would guess that it has something to do with both countries being Commonwealth countries.

 checkmark  Good guess. And let us work to keep it that way.

Quoting David L (Reply 16):
If you want to find out, ask about underarm bowling in cricket. If they give a neutral response they're English, if they burst out laughing they're Australian and if they go mental they're Kiwi.

And you know that for a fact, hey?  Wink

Quoting Arrow (Reply 8):
Canadians, on the other hand, are boorish louts who get drunk regularly, wear their flags on their clothing, and piss off just about everyone within earshot. They loudly insult all traditions of the host country and brag endlessly about how great they are.

Oh will you please stop with your French-bashing? Oooops, sorry, just a reflex...  biggrin 
 
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DocLightning
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RE: American Accent Or North American Accent?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:32 am



Quoting Unattendedbag (Reply 29):

At least we only have 1 official language. And it isn't French!

Ouch. That had to hurt.  boggled 

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 27):

Hilarious because of the way we speak, or because of our dry, sparkling wit?! Big grin

Yes.  yes 

Quoting Arrow (Reply 8):


Now, don't get me going on the differences between Aussies and Kiwis ...

There are no differences. (Simmer down, Ozzie/Kiwis, I'm just trying to egg him on because this ought to be amusing!)  Wink
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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