Alternate title: where’s the with?
I’m frequently asked about the differences between Canadians and Americans. And I usually answer something to the effect of ‘I’m not sure’ or ‘I haven’t really noticed anything.’ Because aside from their fondness for hockey, and the talk about ‘toques’, and using ‘eh’ (hey, really) like a question mark, I haven’t really noticed many differences.
But the professor finally drew my attention to one (glaring) omission that I completely missed: the absence of ‘with’.
It started with the Gort talking about school. He would say things like ‘I’m done my homework,’ or ‘I’m done my agenda’, and his father would be all ‘have you noticed the kid doesn’t say with‘. And I hadn’t, not until he’d pointed it out.
I guess I don’t pick up on omissions. (It’s sort of like those ‘what’s missing’ photo comparisons in People magazines. Put an American beside a Canadian and figure out what’s not there.)
I started paying closer attention. Sure enough, the Gort left out ‘with’ all the time. Despite his father’s best attempts at correcting him by reminding ‘we say WITH’ as often as possible. And then the Hen started saying it too. Or not saying it, as the case might be. ‘I’m done my dinner!’
Weary of ‘labels’, I wondered if it was maybe just a ‘school-kid’ thing. And then I heard it from adults: ‘I’m done my Christmas cards!’ So now, for fear of making sweeping generalizations, I’m willing to concede that – maybe – Calgarian-Albertans are prone to leaving out the ‘with’.
It’s too bad none of the blog’s ten readers hail from Toronto. That could settle the matter.