419 Canucks and Yanks
Mike compares Canadians and Americans.
Todd: OK, Mike, I was wondering, you're from Canada, and you have lived in America, and we work together, and in our company everybody is American but you, so how would you say Canadians are different than Americans?
Mike: Well, first of all, I'll just, to be honest, just to start, I'll say that Canadians and Americans I think share a lot more similar qualities than they do differences, I mean, I think Canadians have a lot more in common with Americans than they do with even with English people who are like from Britain who were the original sort of Canadians, I suppose, a few hundred years ago, so in that way I think that like again, just to preempt it by saying we're very similar, however, there's definitely some differences I think between Americans and Canadians. First of all, I think Canadians in general are maybe a little bit more humble. Not to put this in a negative way, but they just, they're not as willing to engage in an argument, or to argue over a point, I think, as you know, as most, at least, most of my American friends, who’ll want to debate and get to the bottom of a topic. Canadians would rather just sort of back off and say, you know, "That's, you're right. That's fine. Great" but again, and I can't speak for all Canadians because it depends on your personality too, but just to generalize, that's one difference. Also, I would say that Americans in general tend to be a lot more businesslike and maybe even a little more conservative in, just in the way they, in the way that they, I guess, view, relations, or view discussions with people, but Canadians tend to be a little bit more liberal, a little bit more free and easy-going, again, I'll preempt that by saying all of the Americans that I work with I think are quite liberal and not conservative thinking at all, but if you want to generalize, yeah, culturally, then I think those are probably a couple of differences between the two cultures, or people in the cultures.
Todd: Yeah, anything else, any other differences?
Mike: Well, I think, one thing that Americans tend to point to with Canadians, and it is true to some extent, other than our love of hockey, is sense of humor. I think Canadians in general tend to have a, I wouldn't say unique, but they just tend to look at I guess, look at things with a little bit more of, a bit of humor, too it, and I think the main reason for that is cause it's so bloody cold in Canada.
Todd: Fair enough. Thanks Mike.
Again, that's just to preempt it by saying we're very
similar, however there are definitely some differences.
If you say something 'preemptively' it means that you anticipate the listener's response and you make a comment before giving your opinion or information to change their opinion. Notice the following:
- He preempted his comment by saying that he was really
happy working for us.
- It would be better if you preempted that statement by
saying thank you for the opportunity that they have given
get to the bottom
Most of my American friends want to debate and get to the
bottom of a topic.
When you 'get to the bottom' of something it means you reach a conclusion. Notice the following:
- The police are going to get to the bottom of this.
- I can't relax until we get to the bottom of this.
Canadians would rather just back off and say you're right.
To 'back off' in an argument or discussion means to stop discussing with the other person or let them think that you agree just to finish the argument. A non-confrontational person would prefer this response. Notice the following:
- Why don't you just back off a little?
- I tried to back off, but she wouldn't stop arguing with
I can't speak for all Canadians, but just to generalize,
that's one difference.
When you 'generalize' you take the information that you have about a few people or situations and make a statement that includes everyone. Notice the following:
- You really shouldn't generalize about people here based
on this experience.
- To generalize, people in this city have a reputation for
Canadians tend to be a little bit more liberal and
If you are a 'liberal' person you are open to new ideas and ways of thought. Notice the following:
- He became very liberal during his time in college.
- This is a very liberal city in a conservative part of
I think the main reason for their sense of humor is because
it's so bloody cold in Canada.
'Bloody' is an adverb used by British English speakers. It is an intensifier like 'very,' 'really' or 'extremely.' It is used in informal speech. Notice the following:
- He talks so bloody loud all the time.
- It has been bloody rainy all day.