"Eh" Tip of the Day

I know, I know. We all make fun of Canadian words like "aboot," "zed," and of course "eh." But three weeks with more than a few Canooks has taught me the marvelous benefit of the that third little word. The English language tends to be less inflexion dependent that many others. So, despite our best efforts, our mouths often get ahead of our brains, our inflexion goes awry, and what we intended to be a question comes out more like a statement, leaving the hearer perplexed. Here's where the "eh" comes in. In that split second that you realize you've mis-inflexed your sentence, throw in the "eh" at the end and your audience will know exactly what you meant to say. Perfect, eh?

-inspired by The Keiser and Hogie


Jay said…
I actually think a well-placed "eh" may be handy for those of Pennsylvania natives as well, whose inflection goes ALL over the place. Do you KNOW what I'm TALKING about, eh? I've always kinda been a fan of the "eh." It's just so cool. Why don't WE have cool stuff like that, eh?
Stephanie said…
Adopt a bunch of little sayings like "eh" and keep people guessing about your hometown. My interview subjects are from all over the place. I picked up "eh" from a Canadian-but-now-Buckeye vet or either from some Minnesotan friends (or maybe thas was more a "DONsha know?"). Either way, it lends some variety to your speech when you use "ya'll," "eh," and "cheers", in the same conversation.

I know someone who picked up "Ten-four" from using the Nextel phones as walkie-talkies here in the Bluegrass. Imagine "Ten-four" in a silky South African accent. It's entertaining.
Anonymous said…
Matt at random shirts.com they have a shirt that says "eh"
Jules said…
I want to be an individual, but when it comes to the way I speak, I can't help it, I'm a copycat. I love to pick up little things along the way from people, the coolest of what I think everyone has to offer. Here are my top five favorite words in no particular order (some of which have been in and out of rotation over the years) that my parents definitely didn't teach me in Pittsburgh.

1. Rad
2. Bloody
3. Right (British)
4. Byyyyye (the long, drawn-out KY farewell.. but for the record, I hate "y'all")
5. Mate
Kris said…
Jules I have to agree. I've avoided the y'all for all 16 years that I've lived in the south...never said it once. I do like "pop" (as in cola, not as in dad), and I tend to pick up words that Jason makes up, such as jacker. It is funny how sometimes we pick up words that are only used among our circle of friends, eh?
CGrim said…
"So long, suckers!" is a phrase everyone should adopt. It is most enjoyable whilst driving, and shaking one's fist out the car window at the object of their disdain, or perhaps the world in general.
Jules said…
Andy, I guess you haven't heard my favorite story from home over Christmas. Friends of the fam have an almost 4 year-old daughter named Claire with fiery red hair and a personality to match. After a very nice, proper Christmas dinner around the table with various asundry grandparents and other relatives, Claire sweetly and politely asked, "May I be excused, please?" To which they replied, "Of course honey." Once she hit the doorway, however, she turned back around and with a gleam in her eye shouted, "See ya later suckers!" before tearing out of the room.

And that, my friends, is the proper way to employ that phrase. Rock on, Claire. You can be in my band anyday.
Anonymous said…
Ha! Clearly she has already gotten the technique perfected. :)
hogie said…
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hogie said…
The "eh" and other sayings are truly useful and enjoyable. But to throw another twist in, try using another language. Since my return from Italy, I have found that pharses such has "ciao" and "que catso" have become common place in my vocabulary. What is realy enjoyable is when you start mixing the languages.

A prime example would be JD and I roaming around Porta Susa in searh of a friend saying, "Laura-Jo, dove' you?"

Try it sometime, I'm sure you wil find yourself pleasntly amuzed.

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