A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Translating Canadian

The New Yorker has a somewhat amusing application form for disgruntled Democrats who want to move to Canada, which includes this question:

Translate the following statement: “Cripes, grade thirteen! Here’s a loonie — buy a Coffee Crisp, eh?”

Geoff Pullum can’t make heads or tails of it. But (having been a Canadian resident for several weeks and author of The Canadian Quiz, I think I’m on the case:

Oh my, [You had to attend] a fifth year of secondary education! Take this Canadian dollar and buy yourself a confectionary sold only in Canada, won’t you?

However. ‘Cripes’ is used in the US, and Coffee Crisps are sold in the US too (you can sign the petition to have it sold throughout the US). And some of us Michiganders, especially Yoopers, say “eh.” It’s those East Coast media at it again.

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