North American* Code-Switching


People from Canada and the United States have a lot in common.  Some subtle differences, however, make it difficult to lead a life with one foot in each country.  The most noticeable differences may be spelling and terminology.  Setting aside the obvious, I will focus today on some special words that stand out in conversations in these two neighbo(u)ring places.  Why?  Because it’s a blog, and blogs are for typing.  Also, because I just had a really funny chat with someone where I found myself translating (or code-switching) mid-sentence.  Furthermore, this will help you blend in if you are planning any border-crossing in your near future (perhaps for holiday shopping?).

– College, university: interchangeable in the US, not so in Canada.  In Canada, college means “community college” or “trade school.”  It’s funny because I used to refer to McGill as “my college,” much to the chagrin of my…

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